HomeResults2000sWWE: Retro Review | Smackdown - Unification | November 22nd 2001

WWE: Retro Review | Smackdown – Unification | November 22nd 2001

SmackDown | Crown Coliseum – Fayetteville, North Carolina | TV Rating: 3.7

The Good: Twenty years on when we’ve seen the kind of promo he cuts a hundred times there’s perhaps nothing much to write home about in Ric Flair’s opening promo.  But having watched these shows in continuation it’s a breath of fresh air to see Flair stylin’ and profilin’. The logic holes in the Flair “buy out” still leap out if you go looking for them but his back and forth with Vince setting up the “Unification” of the World belts at the upcoming Vengeance PPV is fun and at least goes some way to finishing the overkill of title belts.

William Regal’s in-ring confrontation with Stone Cold Steve Austin works on several levels. Regal’s character can justify kissing Vince’s ass in his own mind, Regal gets to be the comedic heat machine he is so good at being and it gives even more reasons for the fans to be fully behind Stone Cold now that the babyface turn is official, and on the road to Unification!

Match wise the only thing of any real note is the main event pitting The Dudley’s & Chris Jericho against The Rock & Rob Van Dam. It’s trailed earlier in the evening as Rock and RVD get a Tag Team Title Shot but Vince is now evil again and adds Jericho to the mix at short notice. At least that means they don’t have to explain why Rock and Van Dam were teaming… The match isn’t great but as I say it was the best bout of the night.  And Jericho pinning The Rock after hitting him with his own version of the Rock Bottom is certainly what’s “best for business” on the road to the title Unifications at Vengance. 

5 most bizarre stipulation matches in WWE history

The Bad: The segment involving Kurt Angle, Vince, Christian and The Undertaker takes a lot of time to get to the booking of a match between Taker and Angle later in the evening.

We finally get a reason for Taz being back in the WWE (Vince liked what he did to Paul Heyman last week on SD apparently) but then he gets squashed in 90 seconds by The Big Show. Also… Trish. Stacey. Gravy bowl match. Enough said really.

The Indifferent: Test vs Scotty Too Hotty had to be dropped from Raw due to time constraints.  It was hardly worth waiting for… whilst Kurt Angle against The Undertaker is a serviceable TV match that nevertheless doesn’t ever threaten to kick into gear and ends when Vince does a run-in for reasons I can’t yet fathom. 

It probably deserves to go into the “bad” category but you can’t really blame Edge and Christian for their Intercontinental title match going less than two minutes and ending in a DQ when Test runs in, can you.  Again though, whilst you could argue it never quite got played out fully, Edge Vs Christian is more of the same so any idea that the end of the alliance storyline would enable the WWE to re-boot/reset is already dead in the water less than a week on. 

Overall: We can’t pretend this was a great show but at least it did set the main event scene up for Vengeance alongside officially confirming the Stone Cold babyface turn.  I’ve seen worse shows whilst trailing through six months of WWE TV from 2001 but the fact remains that we’re basically at a stage where the Alliance has gone and nothing from the past six months has meant very much at all. Things stay ever the same…

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