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. It’s Smackdown, featuring Tag Team Title Bookends!
Smackdown | September 27, 2001
Nutter Centre, Dayton OH | TV Rating: 3.9
I mean, of course, they have to cheat to do it (hard chair shots) but the fact that Booker T & Test defeat The Undertaker & Kane for the WCW Tag Team Titles in a ten minute competitive back and forth match means that it deserves its a spot in the good section. As TV matches go it’s very good too.
The show has a pair of Tag Team Title Bookends. The main event pitting WWE Tag Team Champions The Dudley’s against Kurt Angle and The Rock goes FOURTEEN MINUTES (I’ve watched shows on this retro run where the entire wrestling action on the card doesn’t last that long) and whilst it is marred by a No Contest finish it’s a good, fast-paced match that the crowd are well into.
They are only given seven minutes or so and there is a little bit of a “we’ve seen these two go at it before” feel but Rob Vam Dam and Chris Jericho assemble an entertaining Hardcore Title match. Apart from one aspect (see below).
The Hardcore Title match is good…but the delights of Stephanie McMahon on commentary throughout it prove that it’s certainly not her forte. She would become excellent on the mic in time, but in 2001she’s a fair way from that.
The Molly Holly Vs Ivory match is staggeringly bad even though it only last two and a bit minutes. It only exists to help set up Molly’s transformation into Mighty Molly mind you (Hurricane sweeps her away after the match).
Second IC title defence, second “take the coward’s route” ending as this time Christian hits Bradshaw with a fire extinguisher and just runs off. As he gets to his limo he finds Edge waiting to give him another beating too. There’s more teasing/bait and switch waiting for Austin to turn up. He never does.
After singles match on Raw, The Hardy Boys join forces to take on Rhyno & Kanyon. It’s decent, and I suppose there is at least an attempt to link matches as part of feuds, but it never really threatens to become anything too special. The Big Show Vs X-Pac is the usual two minute TV matches that exist purely to exist.
Three good and fairly long matches on the same WWE TV show… In 2001? Of course, this is a thumbs up. That’s over a third of your show there. And although there are obvious faults with the show it’s a good watch overall, even with the Tag Team Title Bookends.