With Unforgiven now firmly in the rearview mirror what does the latest week of WWE TV have in store for us? Matthew Roberts takes another trip in the TWM Time Machine to find out.
Monday Night Raw | October 1, 2001
Riverside Centroplex – Baton Rouge, Louisiana | TV Rating: 4.5
Slim picking’s maybe, but the segment with Christian, X-Pac and Edge is very funny. It’s mainly because Edge tears X-Pac apart (“1998 called and they are sick of you”, “hanging out with cool people doesn’t make you cool” – in respect of X-Pac complaining fans hate him even though he was in DX) but on this show, anything of any entertainment value cannot be dismissed. It’s supposed to be WCW Vs. WWE… What Invasion? It’s not even happening. It’s a construct.
For all the good things Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson brought to wrestling (I’m sure there are some if you really give it some thought) actual wrestling wasn’t ever one of them. So even with it only going two and a half minutes and even with Tazz and Tajiri picking up most of the work that mixed tag team match is absolutely awful.
The promo is pedestrian and I know the logic in WWE has never been at the forefront but Shane McMahon, who seems unable to book matches for his own WCW Title the way he wants, can somehow book himself in a WWE Title match against Kurt Angle tonight?
Lance Storm loses by tap-out to William Regal in about 90 seconds. Again, obviously, the best way to get WCW guys over is the portray them as jobbers. I never enjoy Shane McMahon in a wrestling match. His main event with Kurt Angle is no exception… Not even close to the King of the Ring match.
Ok, so an in-ring promo with The Rock is never ever a bad thing. But when it starts with Kurt Angle, ends with Shane McMahon and takes up nearly twenty minutes to achieve absolutely nothing, booking two matches for tonight aside, it’s not destined to be remembered as one of the all-time, ahem, great ones.
There is an ongoing storyline tonight that at least acknowledges that Steve Austin has been M.I.A. since losing the title to Kurt Angle at Unforgiven. As ever with heel Austin though the initial humour in him “sending in faxes” for Paul Heyman to read out (the first one includes “What’s” in it) soon fades out when we keep going back to the well until it’s dry. One, to say he won’t be here tonight, would have been more than enough.
Less than a week after the first tease, Molly Holly becomes Mighty Molly. It was a fun gimmick, but its unveiling could have been so much more than Hurricane Helms beating Spike Dudley (Molly’s “boyfriend”) in a two-minute match on TV.
The six-man between Booker T, Test & RVD against Undertaker, Kane and Chris Jericho gets a minor pass simply because it’s not a case of WWE immediately getting back a win after Taker and Kane dropped the tag belts on Smackdown. But that doesn’t make it very good either.
The WCW title match between The Rock and The Dudley’s is another in the line of “Rock gets a challenge set up by Shane McMahon” of the week moments.
Invasion? What Invasion? It’s long since been dead and buried. They’re not even trying here. We have another load of “set up on the night” matches but they don’t really mean anything. Even the initial botched booking of WWE Vs The Alliance (where again nothing really meant anything) was better than this. One of the worst shows I’ve watched in this run.