With Unforgiven in the bag and our American Hero Kurt Angle the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion the road to No Mercy begins. Matthew Roberts hops into the TWM Time Machine to check out the first week of post-Unforgiven WWE TV, starting with RAW and Stephanie McMahons Birthday. Yay?
Monday Night Raw | September 24, 2001
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio | TV Rating: 4.5
Rhyno and Jeff Hardy’s battle over the US title is predictably short but its three and a half minutes are a reminder that Rhyno in 2001 was pretty darn good and also shows that Rob Van Dam wasn’t the only ECW alumni to get over as part of the Invasion. (Although of course, Rhyno had already made the jump to WWE a few months prior).
The match between Kurt Angle and Booker T for the WWE World Title isn’t bad in terms of action. Even if it once again seems to exist so that the whole world can see that WCW is totally inferior to WWE.
It’s stretching a point to say its good, but its interesting to see the five finalists from the inaugural Tough Enough show at WWE New York. I wonder what Josh Matthews is up to these days? And if that’s mockery, none of the other four are still in the business are they?
The Undertaker, Kane & Bradshaw Vs The Dudley’s & Test is fought at almost a snails pace which makes five minutes seem like fifty.
Shane McMahon is upset with Earl Hebner for “screwing” Booker T out of the WCW Title last night, even mentioning that he’s a WWE referee. Quite apart from this lame promo (which also highlights that Hebner missed Austin’s hand under the ropes when he tapped out last night) the logic gap still remains. Why doesn’t Shane, as WCW “owner”, make sure that he has a WCW referee, erm, refereeing WCW matches?
New Intercontinental Champion Christian losing by DQ via lame chair shot to Chris Jericho seems counterproductive and a waste of the three minutes it gives us.
Nice bait and switch on Stone Cold Steve Austin, who is teased throughout the show as being on his way but he never arrives.
Tajiri and Tazz, fine for a two minute TV match in 2001. We see a lot of those, don’t we? The whole prematch shtick where Stacy Keibler admonishes Torrie Wilson for being Tajiri’s, erm, manager saying that he’s too short and that she prefers taller men is the predictable set-up for her choosing/finding Taz to take onTajiri.
The six-person tag match between Ivory, Lance Storm & The Hurricane and Big Show, Spike Dudley & Molly Holly is something and nothing that might even deserve to go into the “bad” section given that Molly pins Storm.
The likes of Matt Hardy Vs Kanyon and William Regal Vs X-Pac exist just to fill time on TV. The former gets a one-night storyline to try and give it some meaning (we see Kanyon flirting with Lita) but it’s pure filler.
The main event pitting The Rock against Rob Van Dam for the WCW title isn’t bad as far as TV matches go. The real problem is that it never seems to be about Rob Van Dam or the WCW title. Or even WWE Vs The Alliance. It’s a match that’s all about The Rock wanting to ruin Stephanie ’s 25th Birthday.
Tonight, via a backstage promo, sees the debut of DDP’s “motivational” character. It would make it into the “bad” section if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s still a hundred times better than his inexplicable stalker character.
A poor show. Nothing of any real note happens and nothing seems to get set up for the future (other than the acknowledgement that Austin’s hand was under the ropes at Unforgiven and so he’s due a rematch). Still, at least we get to celebrate Stephanie McMahon’s birthday.