Monday Night Raw – November 12, 2001: If They Don’t Care, Why Should I?
Date: November 12, 2001
Location: Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman
It’s the final Raw of the Alliance Era and I bet they’ll talk about the Winner Takes All match this Sunday. The fact that this is ending in less than six months has never ceased to blow my mind. There’s no reason for things to have wrapped up that fast, but then again I’m not Vince McMahon so what do I know about how to run a story that could have drawn billions and run for years? Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip from Smackdown with Taz saying that he doesn’t trust Austin anymore, earning himself a beating. The Alliance walked out on Austin. Angle told Austin to shove his hat and Austin Stunned him as well.
Here’s Angle to open the show. He talks about how there was a team that had a chance to win it all, but infighting broke that down and now they’re losers. They would be the Red Sox from this season of course. Angle wants Austin here right now, but instead he gets Edge. Edge calls Angle a coward and wants a US Title match RIGHT NOW.
US Title: Edge vs. Kurt Angle
So not only can all three McMahons and both Commissioners make matches, but wrestlers can too. Sure why not. Edge immediately dropkicks him down but Angle takes him to the mat. Edge speeds things up again and takes Kurt down before doing Kurt’s signature pose. They go to the mat again and Edge grabs the arm to control. The half nelson bulldog that edge stopped doing when he got to be a bigger star gets two.
Angle grabs a belly to belly to send Edge up and over to the floor and the challenger is in trouble. Back in that only gets two but Edge is reeling. Edge comes back with a quick flapjack but Angle rolls him down to the ground and it’s off to a chinlock. Edge tries to go up but he jumps into a belly to belly suplex. The moonsault misses and both guys are down.
Edge makes his comeback and the Edgecution and Angle Slam are both countered. Edge-O-Matic gets two and a victory roll gets the same for the challenger. Angle Slam hits and there’s the ankle lock but here’s Kane. Or rather just his entrance for a distraction so Edge can spear Angle down for the pin and the title in a major upset.
Rating: C-. As good as these guys would get over the next year or so, this really didn’t click for the most part. Edge wasn’t ready to beat Angle here so the cheating finish helps, but it still wasn’t much to go on. They were getting there though and their feud in 2002 basically brought Edge up to a new level.
Post match here’s Kane to beat up Kurt. Kane puts him in the ankle lock until some Alliance jobbers come in to get beaten up instead.
Taz has challenged Austin to a non-title match tonight because he’s all ragey.
WWF Tag Titles: Hardy Boys vs. Booker T/Test
The Hardys slide in but get jumped immediately. A suplex puts Jeff down and gets two for Booker. It’s quickly off to Test but Jeff pounds him back. A gutwrench powerbomb stops the comeback but Test’s big boot misses. The not hot tag brings in Matt who cleans house, hitting the middle rope legdrop on Booker for two. There’s the Twist/Swanton to Jeff but Test kicks Jeff’s head off. Everything breaks down and Lita hits the rana on Booker so Jeff can roll him up for the titles.
Rating: D+. YAY the Hardys are champions again! This matters…..why? No really why does this matter? Everything ends on Sunday so this is like the proverbial changing deck chairs on the Titanic. Who cares if the Hardys get another tag title run or if Edge is US Champion? There was nothing here either as it was barely long enough to grade.
Chavo Guerrero and Hugh Morrus come to Vince and ask for jobs if the Alliance loses. Why would I care if they have jobs or not?
Steve Austin vs. Taz
Austin is in jean shorts and a sweatshirt. Taz jumps him as he comes in and pounds on Austin in the corner. A low blow breaks up the Tazmission and the Stunner gets the pin. This didn’t even last 45 seconds.
Shane comes out and tells Austin to get off Taz. The Alliance is waiting in the back for a speech from Austin apparently.
The Desire video is about Undertaker. It still sounds like a perfume commercial.
Stephanie addresses the Alliance and I’m liking the leather jacket on her. She fires Morrus and Guerrero and Austin comes in. He yells at Angle but Shane yells at Austin, saying Austin needs to worry about The Rock. Booker gets yelled at for no apparent reason and this turns into another “we need to come together” pep talk. Then Shane leaves and it turns into an argument.
WCW Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Scotty 2 Hotty/Albert
Scotty gets jumped but Albert (currently Tensai) in a stupid hat makes the save. Stacy gets in for no apparent reason and hits on Scotty but Albert rips her skirt down. That would be more valuable than all of his current WWE run combined. They load up the Worm but the Dudleys pull Stacy out and pull her out and leave. No match I guess.
Jericho complains to Vince about how Rock is too obsessed with the People. Vince tells Jericho to get over it because the match on Sunday is more important.
Regal is warming up when Christian comes in. They have some tea and Regal casually tells him he’s facing Big Show tonight. Christian panics and Regal whispers something to him which calms Christian down.
Hardcore Title: Undertaker vs. Rob Van Dam
Van Dam is defending and he fires off strikes in the corner to start. Taker comes back with right hands in the corner as well but Van Dam clotheslines him to the floor. Van Dam dives at Taker but gets caught and rammed into the post. They go up to the stage and Taker misses a boot so that his leg gets caught in part of the set. Van Dam climbs up said set and dives off with a cross body for a very delayed two.
Rob knocks Taker over to the edge of the stage but Taker knocks him back for the sake of avoiding death. Taker pounds away and slams Van Dam into the set again. The Last Ride is loaded up but Booker runs out to break it up. Booker and Van Dam pound Taker down and they head back inside. Taker fights back but Booker takes him down again. Booker goes up but gets crotched and superplexed. Van Dam comes in out of nowhere and hits the Five Star while Taker is down to retain.
Rating: D. This show is AWFUL. The matches have no thought or effort into them at all and it’s sucking the little life they had left out of the building. Weren’t Booker and Van Dam having issues recently? Well apparently they patched things up off camera because they’re fine now. Nothing to see here and it’s very clear that no one cared at all.
Rock comes in to see Vince and Vince tries to make peace with Rock and Jericho. Rock wants nothing to do with a “moose hunting Twisted Sister wannabe.” Somehow this took almost five minutes.
Here’s Mick Foley for a promo I remember being very sad to see back in the day. Foley says that he’s out of a job no matter what happens on Sunday because about three days after he became Commissioner, Vince came back and made him worthless again. Foley has a lot of things he wants to do with the rest of his life and answering to Vince isn’t one of them. If the WWF wins, Vince can take his job but he can’t take his pride.
Foley goes on a rant and a half about how the title he has in his closet (the WWF Title he won on January 4, 1999) means nothing anymore because EVERYONE has a title anymore and none of them mean anything at all. With the power he has for a little while longer, he’s going to get rid of some titles. Before he tells us how, he goes on another rant about how at Raw and Smackdown last week, he was told he wasn’t needed. I mean, why put Mick Foley on TV in Long Island? “Maybe I’m not needed on the program, but the program sure needs something and more titles isn’t it”.
On Sunday it’s Edge vs. Test in a US/IC unification match (Foley gets the respective titles wrong but that kind of reinforces his point. Neither guy had held their belts for even a month so does it matter?) and the Hardys vs. the Dudleys in a cage to unify the tag belts (for the second time in three months of course). That brings him to the Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Titles. “Well X-Pac is MIA. No one knows where he is and no one really cares”. Since Pac doesn’t exist anymore, Regal will face Tajiri instead and that’s that.
I want to talk about this promo for a minute. First and foremost, he’s absolutely right about almost everything he said. At this point, there were 10 championships in the company, and that’s counting the tag titles as one title instead of two. Think that that. On top of that, this was Mick Foley, one of the top stars the company has ever had and one of the nicest guys in the history of wrestling, just erupting on national TV because of how awful things had gotten. This was just over seven months after the best show in wrestling history and it’s fallen this far. Let that sink in for a minute.
Christian vs. Big Show
Non-title of course because Big Show can’t be bothered trying to win the European Title. Show shoves him down to start and throws on a bearhug. Christian is knocked to the floor and DDP comes out. That goes absolutely nowhere as he can’t even get in the ring. Christian brings in a chair but Show hits it into his face for the pin at 1:27.
This is EXACTLY what Foley is complaining about: a champion just got destroyed in less than 90 seconds and why? Christian is defending his title on Sunday but do you think his opponent was even mentioned? Big Show is in the main event of the PPV but he’s here squashing Christian in short order? Why? Does this make him look like a threat in the main event? He’s Big Show, a former world champion and a guy that has main evented Wrestlemania.
Why should Christian need to get crushed like this for the sake of Big Show? There are a dozen guys in the Alliance that you could do this to who don’t have belts, but we just HAD to have Christian get beaten up right? At the end of the day, I doubt very seriously that the WWF could have answered that back then, or they would say it doesn’t matter, which is a big part of the problem.
Anyway the Dudleys come out and break a table over Show’s head before the APA shows up for the save. Not the Hardys, as in the team that the Dudleys are facing on Sunday, but the APA, a team that is in a yet to be mentioned on this show battle royal for immunity from being fired. Little things like that are the way you can tell no one is paying attention or thinking at all.
No one is at WWF New York.
Rock is walking in the back and goes into a room. That’s it. Seriously, that’s all they showed here.
Edge was at a Rob Zombie concert in New Mexico. Riveting indeed. Edge just started using Rob Zombie as his entrance music so we see Zombie perform the FULL SONG. I like the song but if I wanted to watch a music video, I’d watch a music video.
Rock is in his locker room when Jericho comes in. Jericho complains about what Rock called him earlier and Rock complains about Jericho complaining about the people. This is pretty much the ONLY thing that was interesting on Raw at this point. Taker comes in to yell at them and complains about getting double teamed while no one came to help him. I guess when Kane and Big Show, as in the other two members of Team WWF, were getting double teamed earlier, Taker was busy having a meatball sandwich and watching Days of Our Lives, because he certainly didn’t help them out.
Kane comes in and gets yelled at too. Taker yells at the team for not being unified. Big Show is never mentioned at all during this speech. Rock and Jericho, two of the biggest mouths ever, have nothing to say to this. Oh wait Rock says they’re a team and what Taker says is clear. The tall guys leave and Jericho wishes Rock luck. Rock says he’ll be waiting for Jericho.
WCW World Title: The Rock vs. William Regal
Rock didn’t even bother changing into trunks for this. Regal jumps Rock to start and they head to the floor for a bit. Back inside and Regal hits the knee trembler for two. Off to a fast chinlock but Rock comes back with a belly to belly suplex and a DDT for two. They head outside again but Tajiri comes out to Mist Regal. You know, because Rock can’t beat Regal on his own. Spinebuster and Sharpshooter get the win for Rock. This was nothing AGAIN.
Rock calls out Austin and here’s the bald one after a break. They stare each other down and Rock says they go back to Wrestlemania. Rock remembers that night and the next night as well as earlier when Austin says he can beat Rock. Rock hopes Austin jumps to the WWF so Rock can beat Austin up in the WWF for the WWF Title. He says FINALLY but Austin takes the mic out of his hand. Now Austin wants to say FINALLY but Rock takes the mic. Rock tries to say it again but Austin pulls the mic away again. He makes fun of the people chanting Rocky and says FINALLY, but Rock pulls the mic away again. Now Rock makes fun of WHAT. It’s so clear they have NO IDEA how to fill in this time so they’re just messing around.
Austin WHAT’S the crowd for a bit and the fans applaud. Austin says that’s the bottom line but Rock steals the mic before Austin can finish. Rock says what (complete with a stutter that sounds like WOO WOO WOO beforehand) but Austin takes the mic away for about the 9 millionth time. Rock says Austin’s breath smells like strudel. Austin says he (as in Austin) has a beer belly and it’s fuel for fighting but he’s not going to do that right now. Austin says Rock has hurt his feelings and it looks like they’re finally about to fight but instead Austin wants to sing. Yes I said SING.
Austin talks about a rock band called Boston but he doesn’t remember any of their songs right now. Instead he’s going to sing Delta Dawn (complete with a shout out to a fan in Texas with a busted up leg. Ok then) and he does in fact sing the song. Rock counters with The Gambler by Kenny Rogers and we’ve officially entered the point where I have no idea what to think anymore. Rock: “That make you feel better?” Austin: “I feel like crap.” And now, TIME FOR A DUET!
They sing Margaritaville as I’m trying to remember these two singing in front of nearly 68,000 people in Houston. Oh scratch that as that was a thirty minute blood bath in the classic main event of the greatest show of all time. Instead they’re here talking about a lost shaker of salt. Aren’t they supposed to be fighting for their jobs on Sunday? Rock says he’ll never forget and Rock Bottoms Austin. Angle comes in and the big brawl between the teams ends the show. Jericho makes the save with a chair and stands behind Rock but he doesn’t swing it.
Overall Rating: F. I am in awe of what I just spent 90 minutes watching. The last fifteen minutes of this show was a singing contest between two of the three biggest stars in wrestling history. You know, as in the guys that have had the only main event trilogy at Wrestlemania ever. Now don’t get me wrong: the segment was kind of entertaining, but when it goes on for FIFTEEN MINUTES at the end of a dreadful show, it’s only going to be so good. These guys are supposed to hate each other and they look like they’re at a comedy club. Horrible show with a freaking bizarre ending.
Here’s Survivor Series if you’re interested:
Also here is an article I wrote about the Invasion and my thoughts on why it didn’t work and what I would have changed:
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews
1. That Foley promo wasn’t a shoot, was it? And if it wasn’t, why would the creative team write that about themselves? I’m sort of confused by this.
2. You’ve always complained about the Invasion story and I always just took it as you being a little bitter. Hoping for more from what could’ve been an incredible story. But now having read through all of these Raw reviews….they’re TERRIBLE. I’m the same age as you and for some reason I remember this being awesome. But now after going through this, I’m with you.
How sad is it that any given weekly show today, you could probably copy and paste what you wrote about Big Show and Christian’s match, probably even with the same guys in the match?