WWF Smackdown 5/31/01


What will Shane McMahon and WCW have in store for the WWF tonight? How will Steve Austin and Vince McMahon respond to the Canadians Chris? 

Speaking of, Benoit and Jericho are out to start the show. We're still in Canada, this time in Edmonton, Benoit's hometown. Jericho makes fun of HHH's injury (such a face move) before challenging Austin/Vince to a title match tonight. Benoit's whole promo is blatant pandering to the home crowd. About hockey. This brings Vince out. The tag match can't happen, because Jericho and Benoit are booked in singles matches. Jericho will face Kurt Angle. Vince says Austin has the night off, so Benoit won't be facing him tonight. This brings Austin out. He doesn't want the night off and will beat Chris Benoit tonight. Vince was not happy about it. This also went on forever. 20 minutes. Fuck.

Edge vs Kane WWF Intercontinental Championship

Edge works over Kane's BROKEN arm. Why is he being allowed to wrestle with a broken arm? Kane won with a powerbomb in a fairly uninteresting match. You'd never think Edge was about to embark on a successful singles career. Title retained.

TO THE BACK. The Dudleys head to the ring. Spike wants to head out to ringside with them. They don't want him out there. 

Bubba Ray Dudley vs Hardcore Holly

Of course, D-Von and Crash get involved. Crash costs Bubba the match. Maybe you should have let Spike be out there, Bubba. 

TO THE BACK. Vince is reading WWF Magazine when Commissioner Regal and Tajiri rush in to tell Vince of reports of a limo circling the building. Vince awkwardly offers Regal a carrot. The license plate says WCW 1. "That damn Shane!" Tajiri tries to grab a carrot and gets his hand slapped. BUT WHO WAS LIMO?!?!?!?!

TO THE COACH. Spike is asked about his sacrificed for Molly on Raw. Spike takes the opportunity to say he really really likes Molly. Well, duh. 

We're shown the tape of Sara Taker again.

TO THE LILIAN. Kurt Angle has some stuff to say about Chris Jericho, but I'm distracted by his pretty terrible body acne. Especially when they started the promo zoomed in on it. He DOUBLE DARES Shane to interfere in his match.

Kurt Angle vs Chris Jericho

There is extra security at ringside. If Kurt REALLY wanted Shane to interfere, he'd send the guards away. MAT WRASSLIN. It's very clear that Benoit is the star of the two Chrises. Jericho almost seems like an after thought. Jericho hurts his leg missing a missile dropkick. You'd think that would lead to Angle focusing on the leg to set up the ankle lock, but you figured wrong, mother fucker. In fact, Jericho just stops selling it all together, doing multiple jumping moves with no issues. Wonder why he bothered to sell the leg in the first place. Oh, suddenly it hurts again after missing the Lionsault? Fuck off, m8. Shane McMahon runs out of the crowd and is grabbed by security. In the chaos, Spike Dudley runs out to hit the Acid Drop on Kurt. Jericho hits the Lionsault for the win (even though his leg was hurt, remember). Terrible psychology from Jericho in this.

TO THE OFFICE. Kurt Angle demands Regal give him a match with Shane at King Of The Ring. Kurt attacks Tajiri for bowing too much. "That's my house boy!" "I know!"

Raven vs Rhyno WWF Hardcore Championship

Tazz is annoying as shit, and nothing says "hardcore" like bright and shiny trashcans. Rhyno gores himself into a trashcan, then does a running spinebuster through a table. Title retained.

TO THE BACK. Austin and Debra are talking. Vince tries to get him to reconsider putting his title on the line. Austin is SICK of hearing that Benoit has his number. It hurts his feelings that Vince and Debra don't believe in him. 

TO THE HOSPITAL. A recap of HHH's surgery is followed with a promo from Stephanie, shitting on Austin for being a dick head in the aftermath of HHH's injury. 

TO THE BACK. Lita and Matt are making out. Eddie interrupts them. Matt isn't pleased. Cockblocker Heat. He's clearly trying to fuck Lita. Elsewhere, Benoit gets his ribs taped up.

Hardy Boyz/Eddie Guerrero vs X-Factor

I almost feel bad for Justin Credible, going from lead heel and champion of a promotion to possibly 3rd banana in a mid card stable headed up by a dude whose entire career was being a member of stables led by his more popular friends. But then I remember that I hate Justin Credible and have a silent giggle to myself. God damn, Albert press slams Eddie to the floor. That could have ended very badly. Matt was distracted by Lita checking on Eddie, which allowed Albert to hit the A-Bomb for the win. 

TO THE BACK. Austin rubs his title, perhaps for the last time. 

A new video of Mr. and Mrs. Taker riding ATVs at the Taker Ranch. How did neither of them notice a dude standing in their garage? He couldn't have been hidden very well.

Chris Benoit vs Steve Austin WWF Championship Special Enforcer: Vince McMahon

This is a pretty famous match. We'll see if it stands the test of time. I'm guessing it won't, mostly because very little after 1997 holds up that well, especially in WWE. Benoit attacks as soon as he's able. Much like on Raw, Austin focuses on the injured ribs of Benoit. Benoit gets the crossface on in the center of the ring very early into the match .Austin gets to the ropes. Benoit drags him back to the center of the ring to reapply it. Repeatedly. Much like on Raw, Austin tries to get disqualified by using the title. Earl stops him, which leads to a ref bump, which leads to a DDT on the belt from Benoit. Benoit goes for the diving headbutt, but Austin gets the title in the way. Austin puts the sharpshooter on. Benoit busted his nose or eye open with the headbutt. Benoit reverses and gets the sharpshooter locked in himself. Then Austin gets it back. Then Benoit gets a weird version of it back on. Call me crazy, but that's not really a move that can just be traded back and forth. From there, Austin tries to break Benoit's ribs on the announce table, but it might have broken Benoit's neck. Christ, th at was an ugly bump. Benoit hits TEN German suplexes in a row, which is fucking crazy considering one the dudes was just a few months back from a broken neck,and the other guy has a broken neck but didn't know it.  Vince gets in the ring with a chair, but Benoit beats the SHIT out of him with it. Then Austin wins with a roll up OUTTA NOWHERE. Lol. Title retained.  

Austin and Benoit have great chemistry, but it isn't like their matches have a lot of story to them. What I'm told by Shane interfering against a top level guy is that Shane is more important than any of the actual WCW talent.