Arrowhead Pond – Anaheim, CA – TV Rating – 5.4
After a re-cap of the Rock returning…to the WWE we get the confirmation that tonight The Great One will go one-on-one with…Shane McMahon. Oh joy of joys.
Rob Van Dam Vs Kane – Hardcore Title
This is one of those matches where, typically for Raw at the time, it clocks in at less than five minutes. It feels twice as long. And I don’t meant that in a good way. Kane does some stuff, RVD does some of his own stuff back. They are in the ring. They are out of the ring. And then DDP walks in and hits two chair shots on the Big Red Machine then lays the chair on top of Kane for RVD to hit the Five Star Frog Splash. Kane has the courtesy to sell for the three count and then pops right up so we can see our favourite 2001 WWE TV trope… Diamond Dallas Page running away from WWE stars.
We re-cap the Austin/Debra cookies nonsense from Smackdown. Of course she hit her husband with a cookie tray so obviously something must be brewing storyline wise. So what happens? We see the two arriving together earlier and nothing at all else happens. Unless Austin giving a look at Debra and her smiling is “something happening”.
Booker T is next up and earlier in the day he was auditioning for movie roles. The assistant he asks for help does a Rock impression. Booker isn’t happy. Even non-WWE employees are burying him now.
And here is Stephanie. It must be all of five minutes since a McMahon has given us a speech after all. Bodies will hit the floor at SummerSlam (nod to her theme song tonight) and Shane will beat up The Rock tonight too. Mercifully Chris Jericho interrupts, even though we can guess the “hilarity” that will ensue. And this isn’t hindsight. His “humour” wasn’t funny in 2001 either. To sum up, Jericho questions her morals, suggests she likes it in a lot of positions and calls her some not very nice names. It gets worse in that Jericho says Stephanie has been with every human being so it’s time to move onto another planet…The Planet of the Apes. So people in ape costumes come out, one hands Jericho a custard pie and it winds up being slammed into Stephanie’s face. What was the point?
Lita and Debra are having a chat about nothing. Lita was impressed with the cookie tray attack on Smackdown but Debra takes her comments the wrong way and walks away.
William Regal and Tajiri are backstage and Regal is telling a tale that involves a woman swinging her knickers above her head. X-Pac walks in and is upset he’s not been on TV since unifying the Cruiserweight and Light Heavyweight title. Bear in mind there’s been ONE show that X-Pac hasn’t been on since winning that title last week on Raw. Upshot is, we’re getting X-Pac vs Tajiri tonight.
Torrie Wilson & Stacy Keibler Vs Jacqueline
Well this will be an epic won’t it. They run clips of these three getting into an argument on Sunday Night Heat to set this up. It goes 90 seconds and even then the WCW women can’t win clean, despite the odds being in their favour (numerically at least) as Ivory returns, defects to the Alliance and Torrie gets the pin. Whatever.
DDP has brought his shrine of Sara to the arena tonight. He bows down before it and makes some unsavoury comments.
WE then go to WWE New York where Terri is hosting. JR asks her how it feels to be dumped for a mop. Heyman lays into her so she starts crying and walks off.
We’re then back at the arena with Debra and Stone Cold. Debra is telling us that Lita thought it was funny she’d smacked the cookie tray over his head, that she couldn’t understand why she married Austin, that Austin is trailer trash and that Matt Hardy could batter Austin. It’s the last of those that makes Austin really angry and he storms off.
We’re back with Booker auditioning for his movie role. Turns out it’s for an British aristocrat so Booker gives us his best post British accent.
Back in Regal’s office, Stephanie and the Dudley’s are annoyed about Jericho and suggest a handicap match. Regal says no, but he will sanction a tag, where Jericho can pick his own partner.
X-Pac Vs Tajiri – Light Heavyweight Title
So it’s only that belt on the line, not the Cruiserweight. So that means we’ve got two WWE guys clashing for a WWE title in match refereed by Charles Robinson…a WCW referee. What? We go three whole minutes, it’s fine. The fans immediately chant “X-Pac sucks”. Tajiri mists and hits the Buzzsaw Kick and we have a new champion.
Backstage Austin has found Lita and Matt Hardy. He repeats what Debra says Lita said. Lita denies. Matt Hardy says it doesn’t sound like something Lita would say. Austin accuses them of calling his wife a liar. Upshot it, match set for later tonight.
Booker is still auditioning, this time reading some lines with an actress. He calls her a sucka. She asks him if he’s related to Mr T. This is cutting edge stuff, folks.
The Dudley’s Vs Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle
Yes, Y2J picks our Olympic Hero as his partner as we continue the bizarre trend tonight of SummerSlam opponents (Booker/Rock, Austin/Angle) having nothing to do with each other. This is a fun five minute brawl for what it is but even in this we have to have a run-in from Rhyno. Not even that can beat the WWE superstars though. Angle goes to suplex city, misses a moonsault after Dudley knees are raised up, Jericho breaks up the “What’s uuuuup” thing and Angle gets the Ankle Lock on Bubba for the tap-out win. It was better than anything else we’ve seen tonight.
Austin is backstage, intimidating Lita. He calls Lita a liar, she says it’s all a misunderstanding.
Lance Storm Vs Christian – Intercontinental Title
Christian comes out with the KotR trophy as someone has presumably remembered that that exists. He wants to get something off his chest and invites Storm to join him for a Five Second Pose. This is to allow Edge to run in, and pull Storm’s pants down. Are those power ranger undies? Anyway. Christian starts the match off on fire but Storm rallies back. In the end Storm gets a rope-assisted pin with a roll-up. As an example of a supposedly righteous heel nevertheless having no compunction about cheating it’s a fine four minute sprint.
Undertaker and Sara are here and Kane has been waiting for them. Guys, even I had a mobile phone in 2001. He tells them about DDP’s shrine and suggests the two of them go breaking it. Taker tells Kane to take Sara to the APA for protection and then they will go and take care of business.
The Rock and Kurt Angle are backstage and the two acknowledge that they don’t really like each other. Angle says he doesn’t like The Rock because he’s always mean to him. Rock offers a clean slate and Angle has some advice in return. A glass of milk/ Rock teases his catchphrases’ but then drinks it and appreciates the gesture. Next time though, Angle should bring him some pie. I don’t think Angle’s offer of Apple Pie is quite what Rock meant.
It’s Stone Cold time again and this time he’s telling Debra what Lita said about her. Of course Austin’s version of events doesn’t tally at all with what Lita actually said.
We’re then back with Taker at the shrine. There’s no sign of DDP and Taker’s hot temper means he’s turned up alone. He particularly doesn’t like the mocked up photo of a DDP/Sara wedding so he starts destroying everything. DDP shows up but of course Taker beats him up, at least until Kanyon evens up the odds. They attack and when Kane finally shows up they run off.
Stone Cold Steve Austin Vs Matt Hardy
Hardy is the European Champion but that won’t save him here. Hardy attacks as Austin gets into the ring and that’s about the only offense he gets in all night. It’s a hammering from that point. Lita and Debra get involved which ends up with Lita taking a Stunner. A follow up one on Hardy gets Austin the win. Ho hum.
Booker is again at his auditions. It’s not very entertaining. He doesn’t get the role. He beats up the director.
The Rock Vs Shane McMahon – Streetfight
We must have extra time tonight as Shane gets on the mic when he gets in the ring to waffle on about nothing in particular. Or maybe if Steph gets her promo time, Shane has to have it too. Thankfully Rock interrupts on the Tron from backstage. For the first three minutes or so Shane doesn’t get a single shot in, which is just how it should be. But of course, whilst DDP can’t get a lick in on Taker, Shane is allowed to look competitive against the Rock. Booker ends up interfering but Rock sees him off with relative ease and a Rock Bottom ends it. Why didn’t the entire WCW roster interfere this week?
Anyway, to try and fool us into thinking Booker might have a chance at Summerslam he’s allowed to get heat back by almost kicking Rock’s head off and putting him down with a belt shot. Which would be a fine ending. But no. We have to end with Shane hitting a flying elbow to the Rock through the announce table. Because Shane is THE star of WCW isn’t he?
One of the worst show in a good few weeks. There’s the odd moment of entertainment but in reality so little of what happens on this show actually means anything at all. There’s no jeopardy at the moment in the WWE Vs Alliance war
Nothing is at stake on a week to week basis and any novelty of seeing WWE Vs WCW/ECW in it’s own right is quickly fading.