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WWE: RAW Retro Review | Nov 12th 2001 – Rock & Austin Singalong

Monday Night RAW | November 12th 2001 | Fleet Center – Boston, Massachusetts | TV Rating: 4.1

The Good: Again it’s slim pickings.  But the Rock/Jericho ongoing feud without really feuding because WWE Vs The Alliance is more important stuff is relatively entertaining I guess. The Rock & Austin Singalong is good but… We’re 6 Days Away from the WWF potentially being out of business.

I’m not exactly staunch Mick Foley fan.  I don’t mind him, have liked a lot of his stuff over the years and don’t deny that he had a connection with the wider audience.  But he’s not one of “my favourites”.  And his in-ring promo here has some holes in it.  After all he bangs on about his title wins meaning something when they don’t in 2001 because everyone gets a title.  Which is a fair point in one sense, but ignores that his title reigns were all very short.  And that a ranting promo of this nature is used to set up unification matches at a PPV that is less than a week away is just another shocking indictment of 2001 WWE and the whole Invasion thing.  But by the same token a lot of what he says here is spot on.  Titles have largely become meaningless.  He’s right to point out that his role as Commissioner is defunct if Vince McMahon is around on TV.  It’s all a “worked shoot” but that doesn’t mean that it’s not true. 

The Bad: The match itself is merely indifferent (see below) but once again we’re treated to the illogical world of WWE 2001 where Edge can demand a United States title match and get it just because Kurt Angle agrees.  You can certainly over-think wrestling at times as a fan, but after six months or so of the WWE changing who can and who cannot (seemingly) book title matches just to suit one night’s storylines it’s something that takes you out of the moment every single time.

Note also how Taz challenges Stone Cold to a NON-TITLE match tonight.  Why doesn’t he take the opportunity to get a title match he doesn’t really deserve merely by asking for it! Admittedly he loses that match in 42 seconds, but still…

Rob Van Dam against The Undertaker for the Hardcore Title is, well, awful. It doesn’t exactly play up to either man’s strengths.  The best I can say is that at least RVD retains, even if it needs the help of Booker T to do so.  The Booker T who has been at odds with Van Dam for weeks.  Still, at least they must have taken Stephanie’s pep talk to heart. 

Christian against the Big Show isn’t for the former’s European Championship because no-one cares about that belt and Show is in the main event at Survivor Series so doesn’t need that encumbrance.  That Show wins in 90 seconds just goes to prove Foley’s earlier points about meaningless titles and reigns.

The Indifferent: Edge and Kurt Angle would go on to have a very good feud and one that would elevate Edge no-end.  Here they don’t click in their US title match and Edge only wins after Kane wanders out to distract Angle. 

The Hardy’s WWE Tag Team Title win over Booker T and Test goes less than four minutes and is just another title change for the sake of it with Booker and Test’s reign having been largely pointless as a result.  Still at least they have a match.  The Dudley’s WCW Tag Team Title defence against Scotty 2 Hotty & Albert doesn’t even really happen.  Still, no-one ever really thought we were getting the Hardy’s against Scotty & Albert at Survivor Series did they?

The “Stephanie pumps up the Alliance” address is not the worst example of the genre that we’ve seen over the past few months.  That it once again sees the Alliance sort of implode (she fires Hugh Morrus and Chavo Guerrero after they’d asked Vince earlier in the evening if they could have a job if the Alliance lost at Survivor Series) only to get the usual “we need to stick together to win” stuff that no-one was buying two months ago. 

The Rock defending the WCW Title against William Regal is something and nothing which only seems to exist to give us the post-match confrontation between Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  And six days before an apparently historic PPV where the very future of the WWE is on the line the two biggest stars in the wrestling world have a sing-off.  Which was entertaining as a dark segment at the UK only PPV Rebellion a couple of weeks earlier but isn’t exactly great build up for Survivor Series. 

Overall: An awful show.  Even more so with less than a week to go until Survivor Series.  I’ve mentioned before the lack of jeopardy but this is hammered home by the fact that Rock and Austin, who should really HATE each other on-screen, treat us to songs such as The Gambler and Margaretville.  That there is nothing approaching even decent “wrestling” at all makes it all the more of a nonsense of a show.  

Matthew Roberts
Matthew Roberts
"Who's your daddy, Montreal?" - Shawn Michaels
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