HomeWrestlingWWE: Retro Review | SmackDown 11/10/01 | Foley's Return

WWE: Retro Review | SmackDown 11/10/01 | Foley’s Return

October 11, 2001 | The Mark of the Quad – Moline, Illinois | TV Rating: 3.9

The Good

What’s this? Shane AND Stephanie in the good section?  Along with Linda McMahon!  Well the traditional opening in-ring segment features all those three and it’s remarkably good.  It’s probably more to do with Steve Austin and William Regal but for once it almost seems like a succinct promo that moves the storylines along with the minimum of fuss and with a fair sprinkling of entertainment. Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho’s No. 1 Contenders (see the Bad section) match to see who gets a WCW Title match is about the only wrestling of any note on the show. (Lack of) logic aside, Mick Foley’s return as the new Commissioner is quite a fun in-ring-segment too.

The Bad

RAW’s main event went nearly 20 minutes on Monday. Six matches on Smackdown (including THREE title matches) go for only around five more minutes COMBINED!

It may be like listening to a broken record, but once again there is no logic around the on-screen booking.  This week Shane McMahon (WCW owner, lest we forget) suggests booking RVD in a WCW Title match with The Rock at an upcoming PPV.  Steve Austin overrules him and says RVD has to earn it. So Shane books RVD/Jericho for tonight, with the winner getting the shot at No Mercy. I appreciate the storyline connotations (is Jericho perhaps aligned with the Alliance etc) but there is ZERO logic to why some weeks Shane can book what he wants and then other weeks he can’t. 

This is intensified after that match when Mick Foley’s return as the NEW WWE Commissioner can’t book William Regal in a match tonight (he has to appeal to Regal’s “intestinal fortitude to accept the match instead) and apparently has no power over any Alliance wrestlers so has to offer RVD a spot in a triple threat match at No Mercy with Angle and Austin. For the WWE title. Which Foley’s return as Commiss’ means he presumably has some control over the booking of?

The Indifferent

The WWF Tag Team Titles match pitting the Dudleys against The Big Show and Spike at least goes five minutes and isn’t too bad all things considered. 

X-Pac and Kidman is just another cruiserweight/light-heavyweight match that seemingly exists merely to kill time on a TV show.  Likewise, Hurricane against Kane exists only so Booker T and Test can run-in to prolong a feud with Undertaker and Kane that no-one has any interest in. 

Tazz, again, beats Maven in about a minute.  At least Maven gets to strike back post-match. The main event of Angle against Regal goes less than four minutes and ends in a DQ after an Alliance run-in. Ho-hum. 


Although the “Bad” section of the review takes up a lot of words, that’s largely a rant on the lack of logic in terms of on-screen booking of matches.  That aside, and the fact that there isn’t a lot of actual, you know, good wrestling on the show this episode of Smackdown has an energy that drags it along. And if you don’t pay too much attention to “how” things are happening there’s a fair few “big” moments on this show that at least grab the attention whilst you are watching.  It would be hard to say this is an all-time classic slice of WWE TV but it’s one of the better ones of recent times in this retro review trip.  And it did at least set up a number of potentially exciting things for No Mercy.

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