Monday Night Raw – November 26, 2001: This Show Is An Embarrassment To Wrestling Fans

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 26, 2001
Location: The Myriad, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Well after last week we’re in a brand new era for WWE as we have Vince and Flair as co-owners of the company. Vince had his mind blown to end Raw last week and Austin is now the top good guy again. This sets us up for Vengeance but we need a concept for that. I wonder if we could think of something that would get people to watch while at the same time throwing away what could have been the main event of Wrestlemania at the same time. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip from earlier today with Vince coming in to see Flair. Flair yells at him for what Vince said about him on Smackdown. Apparently Vince put Jericho in a handicap match and made Austin get a 5-1 beatdown. Vince says he’ll make it up to him.

After the theme song, here are Vince and Angle. Vince gets right to the chase and says that someone else is joining his club tonight. But first, Kurt has something to say. Angle talks about dominating the sandbox and then the Boy Scouts. Then in high school he was the toughest kid in Glee Club and the prom king. Then he got a full ride to Clarion University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Then he dominated the Olympics and the WWF. He says he’ll win the title at Vengeance and I begin to chuckle.

We get a clip from the end of Raw last week with Austin beating up both guys. Then on Thursday everyone got together and beat Austin down, led by Regal. Vince doesn’t think Austin wants to go through another war with him, so instead tonight Austin will be joining Vince’s special club.

Regal, Christian, Test and the Dudleys, the five guys that beat Austin down, find this hilarious. Regal says Austin is going to try to take all of them out so they should stick together. Flair comes in and says they’re all in matches tonight. If anyone interferes in another match, they’re suspended. Austin isn’t allowed to interfere either.

European Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Christian

Christian is defending. Jeff starts with a quick mule kick but he tries a flip and staggers on the landing. Apparently he’s lightheaded. Gee I wonder why. Christian stomps on the head and here’s Matt for moral support. Jeff comes back with a jawbreaker but Christian rolls away before the Swanton can be launched. Jeff sets to dive to the floor but Matt gets in his way because it’s too dangerous. Christian posts Matt, sending Jeff crashing off the top, allowing Christian to steal the pin to retain. Short but it was about the Hardys and not the match.

Post break Matt yells at Jeff. Jeff yells back about who is smarter. Lita is told to shut up.

Hardcore Title: D-Von Dudley vs. Rob Van Dam

Van Dam is defending and D-Von is a tag champion. D-Von immediately hits him with a stop sign, which in real life would be grounds for near death but here it puts Van Dam down for about 6 seconds. D-Von goes to the floor where Van Dam moonsaults him for two. Back inside and D-Von hits a big powerbomb to take Van Dam down for no cover.

A HARD trashcan lid shot to the head puts Van Dam down but again Rob won’t sell very long and superkicks D-Von down. Rob goes up but get neckbreakered down onto a chair for a delayed two. Van Dam goes up but gets crotched again. Sell that? Nah. Instead he shoves D-Von off the ropes and hits the Five Star to retain.

Rating: C-. Van Dam’s non selling was really annoying but D-Von’s offense looked good. I always liked him better than Bubba but Bubba has about 10,000x more personality so Bubba got the probably better deserved push. Anyway, the match was fine given that it lasted about three and a half minutes and was a forgone conclusion.

Regal needs to go to the bathroom and Christian (after translating Regal’s European) and company agree to go with him. Bubba: “I ain’t holding nothing!”

Edge’s Creed Desire video.

The four guys all go to the restroom at once and Big Show is in there too. Regal is scared by D-Von coming in and….uh…..goes on Show. I think you know where this is going.

Stacy says nothing of note.

Lawler has a telestrator (the pen on the screen) of what just happened.

Women’s Title: Stacy Keibler vs. Trish Stratus

Bra and panties match with Trish defending. What exactly are you expecting here? Stacy can’t wrestle and is in high heels. Stacy is wearing a thong and takes Trish’s top off. Trish takes Stacy’s top off but the Stratusfaction is broken up. Stacy stands on Trish’s hair but gets rolled up and has her skirt/shorts takes off to lose the match. Next. Oh and Trish pins Stacy for absolutely no apparent reason.

Here’s Rock because we need more time spent on talking/not wrestling tonight. Rock says he’ll be the first undisputed champion after Vengeance. He talks about how great he is and thinks it should be Rock vs. Austin for the undisputed title. But they’re just the world champions right now so why bother doing that? I mean, WE HAVE TO DO THIS BY VENGEANCE, so we don’t have time to waste on setting up a big match right? Rock imitates Vince which goes nowhere and is only somewhat funny.

FINALLY Jericho comes out to interrupt this. Rock is usually awesome but dang this was a miss for him so far. Jericho brags about beating Rock with the Rock Bottom before saying there’s a weakness in himself. That weakness was caring about the fans and what they thought of him. Caring about them never got him anywhere though, which is true actually. Now he’s larger than life and he’s going to beat Rock at Vengeance to become Undisputed Champion. Rock says he’ll win and that’s about it. This somehow took almost ten minutes, which is longer than any match tonight will be or has been.

Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Test

Edge is champion coming in. Edge immediately goes up to the middle rope for a clothesline for two but Test knees him in the ribs to take over. A clothesline in the corner gets two but Edge comes back with that half nelson face first slam of his. The spinwheel kick takes Test down and Edge takes over. The big boot from Test misses but the Edgecution is blocked. Test powerbombs Edge down and puts his feet on the ropes for two. A pumphandle slam and powerbomb from Test are both countered so Edge loads up the spear which hits the referee for the ultra lame DQ.

Rating: D+. Freaking TEST can’t lose clean here? Seriously? What in the world was the point of this? Edge wouldn’t face Test at the PPV and it’s not like Edge had to do something to get disqualified because he wasn’t going to win. I don’t get this one at all and the match wasn’t any good on top of that.

Test gets a chair but Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert come out for the save, which set up a worthless tag at the PPV which Edge had nothing to do with.

Angle is curious about which cheek Austin is going to have to kiss tonight. Regal comes in and tries to get out of his match with Big Show. Vince offers Regal some advice which we can’t hear. This REALLY needed its own segment didn’t it?

Big Show vs. William Regal

Regal knocks Show off the apron because William Regal is a real man’s man. Nothing of note happens for about 40 seconds until Booker T comes in (wasn’t he fired because of Survivor Series?), allowing Regal to use the knucks on Show for the pin. Another minute long match that served no purpose at all. Oh and if you couldn’t guess: nope, this didn’t set up Booker vs. Big Show at the PPV.

Taker comes in to see Vince and he’s not happy. Vince says he cares about Undertaker and says he’s done nothing but respect Taker that whole time. Oh…..Vince is a lying son of a gun. He says Taker owes him. Vince is a lot taller than I thought he was. Either that or he’s standing on a box. Basically Vince says do something for him or get fired and not get to beat people up anymore. This also takes like two minutes somehow.

Lance Storm is mopping floors at WWF New York.

WWF had a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Chris Jericho/Kurt Angle vs. The Rock

Oh never mind as Flair comes out to make it a tag match. Now the logical move would be to add Austin to this so you can have the four guys in the tournament in the same match. That would be the logical move though.

Chris Jericho/Kurt Angle vs. The Rock/Kane

Big brawl to start with Rock getting double teamed in the ring. Angle hits a big German and starts with the Great One. Off to Jericho who fires off some Flair chops in the corner, only to get punched in the face for his efforts. Jericho bulldogs him down for two and it’s back to Kurt. Rock suplexes Angle down and makes the tag to Kane who calls back to back spots very loudly.

A tilt-a-whirl slam gets two so here’s Angle instead. Jericho breaks up a chokeslam with a missile dropkick and things break down enough for Kane to get double teamed. A double suplex gets two on the big fried freak and it’s back to Jericho again. That goes nowhere so Angle comes in to get powerslammed, allowing Kane to bring in Rock to face Jericho. There’s the Sharpshooter on Jericho but Angle saves, only to get clotheslined down by Kane. Jericho loads up a Rock Bottom but Rock counters into a DDT for the clean pin. Yep, just a DDT.

Rating: C-. This was back in the day when they were going with the old formula of “have a guy lose over and over and over until he wins a shocker and now you need to respect him because those losses are completely forgotten somehow.” Nothing to see here other than a short (seven minutes, nearly double the second longest match of the night) main event tag.

Jericho takes the Rock Bottom post match because he couldn’t lose to that in the match for whatever reason. Angle saves Jericho from a chair shot because why would you want one of the people standing in the way of being Undisputed Champion to get hurt?

Vince talks to the five heels that have been around all night and says Austin will indeed kiss him. Regal gives Vince some Chapstick.

Austin has apparently had about 15 beers tonight.

Here’s Vince to close the show. Vince tells everyone that they would do the same thing Austin would do and they all know it. Cue Austin and Vince is WAY too excited about this. He wants Austin on his knees so Austin says WHAT a lot. Vince says the war won’t have to start if Austin just does this so Austin has some more beer. Austin wants to bury the hatchet so there go Vince’s pants. First of all, Vince gives him Chapstick and mouthwash. Remember people, we couldn’t have a match make it to seven and a half minutes but we’re at eight with this.

Austin gets on his knees and asks for one of Vince’s tricks. He asks Vince if he uses toilet paper and then low blows Vince. Naturally Vince, with his pants down, gets whipped by a belt. How has Linda’s Senate opponent not gotten his hands on this tape yet? The five guys plus Angle come out and brawl to the back with Austin but we still have like eight minutes left.

Angle stays in the ring with Vince and JR gets caught laughing. We’re in Oklahoma City so you knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Angle goes and gets JR to throw him into the ring. Vince says he’s going to make JR kiss it instead but as Angle is forcing him down, here’s Taker for the save. Taker gets the mic and lists off all the people that have come and gone (including Savage and Bret who were somewhat taboo names at this point) and they all kissed up to Vince.

More than anyone else though, Taker did it. He’s put up with Vince for years now and wants to know if JR was going to do it. JR says no, and Taker asks does that mean you think you’re better than me. A big right hand takes JR down and we have a heel turn. Did I mention that Vince has his pants and underwear down with his back to the camera? Taker puts JR’s hat on Vince and makes him kiss Vince, before Vince gallops around the ring like a horse and spanks himself (still with pants down) with JR’s hat to end the show. Oh and Taker’s match at the PPV for this big turn: a Hardcore Title match, just like D-Von Dudley had tonight.

Overall Rating: F. I’ve seen bad shows and I’ve seen boring shows, but very rarely do I find shows that tick me off. This one did that in spades. Vince McMahon was in the ring for over thirty minutes tonight. That’s ¼ of the show and doesn’t include all the backstage stuff he did. Almost twenty of that was for a segment involving him having another man’s face placed on his body. The total amount of wrestling on this show: roughly 21 minutes.

Let me repeat that. We had roughly fifty percent MORE Vince than we had wrestling. This is the company that at this point owned the roster of every major wrestling company in the country. Guys like Booker T and Lance Storm, two incredibly talented guys, are being used for brief cameos while guys like Rob Van Dam are used to fill in time against D-Von Freaking Dudley. Angle can’t get more than seven minutes of ring time and the world title tournament is considered a secondary angle because Vince need to be spanked on national television.

Let’s stick on this title tournament being considered secondary again. This is the WWF Title being united with the WCW Title. There are three weeks between Survivor Series and Vengeance. The poster for Vengeance has HHH, a guy who hasn’t wrestled in over seven months, featured alone on it. There’s no real need for a tournament and there’s no real justification for having it at Vengeance other than to have it close out the year.

The company is an absolute mess right now and it would only get worse when HHH came back and Jericho, the guy who would win the tournament, would be given a back seat to HHH vs. Stephanie, who wasn’t even gone two months. There is nothing good going on right now but the solution was obvious: WE NEED MORE VINCE!

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews


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4 Responses

  1. Zach says:

    Also you just knew JR was going to be humiliated every time they went to Oklahoma City.

  2. Zach says:

    The product was really going down fast by the end of 2001. Sad year for pro wrestling.

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