Monday Night RAW | October 8th 2001
Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana | TV Rating: 4.5
The headline here is that Stone Cold Steve Austin wins his final WWE Title and becomes a 6 Time WWE Champion, by defeating Kurt Angle. Hard to believe this was 20 Years ago. Make sure you’re sat down for this one, but I’m putting a Shane McMahon match in the good part. It’s not very good, but the tag between him and RVD and Rock & Chris Jericho is entertaining enough. It gets into this bit though for two reasons. It starts the Jericho heel turn (we’ll get to the ups and downs of that in due course I’m sure) and RVD pins The Rock. Yes, after Jericho inadvertently hits him with a steel chair. But sometimes the fact that the WWE do the right thing and try and build up new people is enough. Rock and Jericho’s backstage brawl later in the evening is good stuff too.
They’ve had some barnstormers previously, but the title match between Kurt Angle and Steve Austin is another belter. Even at this relatively late stage in his career when he doesn’t really NEED to do anything to get a reaction, Austin can still go and seems to be enjoying showing that. It’s 18 minutes of great action.
It may seem a little churlish to pick her out most weeks, but Stephanie McMahon’s in-ring promo was another boring and predictable segment. Firstly it’s set up as a “big return” of sorts when she’s been gone for all of two weeks and no one ever seems interested that Vince has been M.I.A for what seems like years now, Oh, and here’s Jericho to trot out the same “jokes” about Steph he’s been peddling for months. Oh here’s Shane O Mac to tell Jericho that he’s funny but needs to get serious if he wants to be a “top guy”. Jericho challenges them both to a match but Steph isn’t stupid so instead, it’s Shane and RVD against Rock and Jericho I’ve not a clue how this is supposed to be a punishment.
Booker T and Test losing their recently won WCW Tag Titles would merely be indifferent given that WCW always lose on WWE TV. It’s bad because the sub-four-minute match with the Hardy’s is awful once it falls apart less than a minute in. AND it’s seemingly setting us up for another Hardy’s/Dudley’s match. And we haven’t seen two dozen of them this year, have we?
The main event was great. Regal turning his back on the WWE to become the Alliance Commissioner seems a bit pointless given there’s not been any logic to on-screen “booking” for months.
I mean ok, there’s not a lot you can say about a 90 seconds match between the Dudley’s & Tazz and Tajiri, Spike Dudley and Big Show. But this is WWE TV in 2001. You have to expect short matches. Except this, and once again the “non-WWE guys” lose in rapid order, uses a six-man tag to set up…Torrie Vs Stacy at No Mercy. Ok then.
It’s cheesy (and quite awful really) but DDP’s vignette does foreshadow DDP Yoga somewhat so it raised a chuckle from me. Edge beats Rhyno by DQ in two and a half minutes when Christian does a run-in. What fun…
X-Pac and Scotty Too Hotty’s Light-Heavyweight title match is something and nothing. Similarly, Lita and Molly Holly go less than three minutes.
It’s a show that really only excels in the main event but what a main event. That alone is well worth checking out. The rest of the show does at least rattle along fairly inoffensively and the Rock/Jericho stuff is good too. At this point you just have to accept the obvious and major flaws with the Alliance storyline.