Monday Night Raw – September 10, 2001: Can We Just Keep Stephanie In That Outfit Forever?

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 10, 2001
Location: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 8,239
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman

We have two shows left before Unforgiven but if you look at the date of this one, you know that the next week’s show isn’t going to be your usual one. The main event of the show, that being Austin vs. Angle, is now set due to Angle going psycho last week which is completely against his character but he did it anyway. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip of Austin and Angle from last week with Austin being tortured into a frenzy and giving Angle a rematch. On Smackdown Austin pretended that RVD was Angle and destroyed him. Austin had RVD beat but Angle popped up, causing Austin to get rolled up and pinned.

Here’s Austin to open the show. Scratch that as he’s leading the entire Alliance to the ring. Austin talks about how the people probably think he’s embarrassed, having lost to a member of the Alliance last week and that he cried last week on Raw. He isn’t ashamed of himself, but rather of everyone in the arena and the ten million people watching on TV because they’ll be cheering for Angle at Unforgiven.

Austin demands that RVD get into the ring. He wants to know who RVD thinks he is, and finger pointing results. Austin doesn’t like him and RVD doesn’t like him. The latter of those statements drew a huge pop. Austin puts down his belt and asks Rob to put his own down….and we have a hug. He likes RVD because of his confidence and thinks RVD should have enough confidence to challenge Angle to a match tonight. RVD calls Angle a great athlete and says he’d love to face him later.

Stone Cold says that he wants the Alliance to have confidence. That means that Test wants to say something. Test wants the Rock later tonight. He knows Shane and Booker are going to take the title off Rock at Unforgiven, but tonight he just wants to beat Rock up. Oh and nothing good has ever come from Texas. Austin: “He means you people, not me!” Now Kanyon has something to say too. He’s issuing an open challenge to any WWF wrestler for a US Title match, and he’s throwing that out just like Angle wanted to throw Austin off a bridge last week.

Now Taz wants to say something because this segment isn’t long enough yet. He thinks that at Unforgiven, Angle is going to beat Austin up and possibly take his title as well. That earns him a Stunner and a big beatdown from the other three Alliance members in the ring. Test kicks his head off and RVD adds a Five Star. And that’s it.

Christian vs. Billy Gunn

Christian jumps him immediately but gets reversed into the corner where Billy takes over. A hip toss gets two as does a Jackhammer. A Stinger Splash misses and Billy hits the post. Reverse DDT takes Billy down and Christian chokes him on the ropes. Oh yeah he’s a heel now. I almost forgot. Billy counters a piledriver and slingshots Christian into the corner. Christian pulls the referee in the way of the Fameasser and rolls Billy up in the corner for the pin with his feet on the ropes.

Rating: D+. Billy is one of those guys that they tried time after time to push and it never quite clicked other than when he was in the Outlaws. At the end of the day he’s the same guy that didn’t get over on his own but they kept pushing him over and over again. I know some people are fans of his but I’ve never quite gotten the appeal. Christian would continue his awesome feud with Edge soon after this.

Billy beats him up post match in a vain attempt to get people to care. Christian comes back and hits him with a chair. A One Man Conchairto ends Gunn.

Test and Stephanie are impressed by Christian. Test is going to impress her like that later tonight against Rock. Stephanie makes it a handicap match and Rock can pick Test’s partner. Just put the tights on her now.

Storm thinks the Hurricane gimmick is brilliant. Hurricane says he’s not pretending. I think he debuts whatsupwitdat here.

Hardy Boyz/Lita vs. Hurricane/Lance Storm/Ivory

Hurricane vs. Matt to get us going and there’s a loud Lita chant. The Hardys double team both men and it’s off to Storm vs. Jeff. Hurricane sneaks in and hooks a neckbreaker for two and it’s back to Lance. The Alliance team double teams Jeff and Ivory gets in a slap as well. Dropkick gets two for Storm.

Hurricane puts the cape on for a second for a clothesline then has Ivory take it back off. Matt gets in but Storm hits an enziguri while Matt is on the middle rope. Jeff knocks him to the floor and hits a dive to take out Storm. Back in the ring the girls come in and Lita beats up Ivory before snapping off a rana on Hurricane. Matt hits the Twist on Ivory and the Litasault gets the pin.

Rating: C. Not bad here but it was always good to see Lita. Ivory’s looks are underrated as well. The guys’ feuds didn’t go anywhere anytime soon as the Hardys were thrown back into a feud with the Dudleys because we hadn’t seen that recently enough. The match was nothing special though.

Cole goes to find out who Rock is going to pick for Test’s partner. Apparently Rock just got out of the shower and doesn’t have a towel on, so he catches Cole looking at the People’s Strudel. He says give him a minute.

The APA are playing cards when Jericho comes in to an ovation so loud that I can’t understand what he says. They have a six man up next. Jericho gets in a jab at Stephanie because the APA offers protection and Stephanie doesn’t use any.

Tarjiri is sitting on Regal’s desk with Torrie and Regal says that tonight, Tajiri is getting the US Title shot.

Rock has his trunks on now and Cole explains the challenge to him. First of all, two important words for Cole: EYE CONTACT. He talks about what the partner needs to have to compliment Test. They need to be fast, easy to manipulate, and have no testicles. Fast, easy and no testicles. Test’s partner will be Stephanie. Rock talks about how Test and Stephanie used to be engaged and sings a bit of the Wedding March for us.

Dudley Boys/Rhyno vs. Chris Jericho/Acolytes

Farrooq and D-Von start things off. D-Von punches a lot but walks into a clothesline for two. Off to Jericho who has his legs spread by the Dudleys. Rhyno comes in with a spinebuster for two. Off to Bubba for some elbows and a chinlock. He loads up the middle rope backsplash but Farrooq’s distraction allows Jericho to knock Bubba off the ropes. Hot tag to Bradshaw and D-Von as things pick up. Everything breaks down and Jericho single handedly knocks the Dudleys to the floor. Bradshaw’s Clothesline and the Lionsault pins Rhyno.

Rating: C. This was ok but these midcard feuds just kind of keep going and going. That was the problem that the Invasion had for it: none of the midcard stuff or the main event stuff for that matter either, ever went anywhere. Both sides won some stuff and they traded the titles back and forth, but nothing ever went anywhere until November when they just said here’s a winner take all match. That’s what held things back, among other things.

Stephanie rants about what Rock said to Test. Test doesn’t need her and wants it to be a one on one match. Stephanie insists she’s in it too because where would we be without the McMahons in the ring?

RVD comes in to see Austin and asks if it should be for the Hardcore Title when he faces Angle. Austin says he’d put it on the line so RVD says it’s a title match. Austin thinks RVD could be the next Austin in 5-10 years. RVD is happy being RVD.

Booker T vs. Undertaker

Taker shoves him into the corner and hammers away but runs into an elbow. Never mind as he kicks Booker’s head off for two. Out to the floor and Booker rams him into various things. He picks up a chair but Hebner won’t let him. That’s a good referee for once. Back in the ring Taker pounds away on Booker and hits the jumping clothesline. Booker kicks him in the face which Taker won’t sell. The side kick puts him down for a second but he blocks the ax kick and loads up the chokeslam but stops to beat up Steven Richards who runs in. Booker hits the scissors kick out of nowhere for the pin.

Rating: D. This would be one of those matches where just because Booker won, it doesn’t really mean anything. Taker almost kicked out of the kick and it took a run-in to let Booker hit a shot for a fluke win. This is one of the big problems Undertaker had back then: he wouldn’t sell for anyone and it kept his losses from meaning anything.

To further hammer in that point, Steven is about to take the Last Ride when Kronik runs in to beat Undertaker up, making Booker’s win completely forgotten. They beat Undertaker down and put him through the table. You know, because having Booker beat Taker clean and beat him down, possibly with an injury angle to make Booker look more lethal and as more of a threat against Rock, would have been stupid.

Stephanie (looking GOOD in her workout gear but with stupid looking hair) is outside on the phone with Shane who tries to talk her out of the match. This is the building where she won the Women’s Title so she can be dominant here again.

US Title: Tajiri vs. Kanyon

Kanyon takes him into the corner to start but Tajiri gets behind him and fires off the strikes. They go to the corner and the Flatliner gets two for Kanyon. They go to the floor where nothing happens and Tajiri tries a sunset flip coming back in. In a SWEET counter, Kanyon stands up and hooks a northern lights suplex out of the sunset flip attempt for two. Kanyon picks up the belt but Torrie grabs it and swings, hitting Tajiri in the head for two. Kanyon gets a rollup with his feet on the ropes for two. Green Mist and the Buzzsaw Kick give Tajiri the title.

Rating: C-. Not a horrible match I guess and Torrie looked smoking hot as always, but giving them a total of three and a half minutes didn’t do them any favors. Both of these guys were good in the ring but their characters weren’t going to get them any further than they got here, and that’s ok.

Recap of Austin vs. Angle. This is an extended version of the opening video.

Austin gives RVD a pep talk and RVD says he’ll win, which is what Angle couldn’t do, “Because I’m Rob….” Austin: “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!” That made me laugh way more than it should have.

Hardcore Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Kurt Angle

Angle gets technical to start so RVD hits him with a technical elbow to the face. Kurt is cool with that and suplexes RVD to the floor. Back in an enziguri puts Kurt down but he fights out of the corner. Van Dam tries to jump over Angle coming out of the corner but Kurt grabs the foot and puts on the ankle lock. RVD quickly grabs the rope, which is HARDCORE! They head outside and Van Dam hits a knee to the face for two, only to get caught in the ankle lock again.

This time he grabs a chair and cracks Kurt in the head with it to put him down. Back inside and they slug it out with Van Dam kicking Kurt’s head off. He puts the chair on top of Angle’s chest and puts Kurt on the apron for a slingshot legdrop which gets two on the floor. Angle counters a piledriver and drives the chair into Van Dam’s throat. Up to the stage and Rob uses the metal part of the set to pull himself up and choke Angle. As Kurt gets back up Rob tries a spin kick but Kurt grabs the ankle and gets the submission and the title.

Rating: C. Pretty decent match here and Angle looks like a better threat against Austin as a result. I’m sure they’ll wind up screwing it up because he can’t go into a world title match as the Hardcore Champion because that might make the title seem like a big deal (not sarcastic here as that wouldn’t make sense) and that shouldn’t happen.

Immediately after the fall, Austin comes out and throws BOTH guys off the stage with Van Dam getting the pin a second later to regain the title. Great.

Angle is stretchered out so JR and Heyman yell at each other A LOT. It’s about would Angle have thrown Austin off a bridge or not. JR says of course not because he didn’t do it. The table is gone due to the Undertaker attack earlier so it looks even better.

Test/Stephanie McMahon vs. The Rock

Stephanie looks GREAT in the sports bra and workout pants. JR says that Stephanie left Test standing at the altar to REALLY mess with history and Heyman calls him out on it without saying what happened. Stephanie sits in on commentary instead of getting in the ring. Test jumps him in the corner to start and is quickly sent to the floor. Stephanie gets in a few shots and Test hammers on Rock back in the ring. Sidewalk slam gets two.

Off to a bearhug as Stephanie and Heyman suck up to each other. Rock comes back with the spinning DDT and both guys are down. Rock slugs away and loads up the Rock Bottom but Test escapes. Rock hits the spinebuster instead but Stephanie trips him on the People’s Elbow attempt. Test kicks Rock’s head off and Stephanie covers him for two. Rock Bottom to Stephanie is broken up so she calls down Booker. Rock counters the pumphandle and shoves Test into Stephanie, setting up the Rock Bottom for the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing match but DANG Stephanie’s new rack looked great out there. Seriously there’s nothing else to praise in this match other than those things. This was the same thing they’ve done with Rock for the last three weeks so it’s kind of hard to care about this match at all.

Angle has a bad neck and might be out of Unforgiven. Austin seems…..pleased?

Overall Rating: C+. This wasn’t a bad show and they built up Unforgiven some more, but the rest of the card really needs to be fleshed out. The title change in there didn’t mean anything but getting the title off Kanyon was a good idea. It wasn’t a great show, but for a show that needed to build up the PPV more, this was a good one.

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