WWF Monday Night Raw 5/28/01
Last week on Raw, HHH tore his quad in a match that led to Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho winning the tag team championships. On Smackdown, the champs were put into a TLC match to defend their titles for the first time. They were able to retain the gold, and Vince McMahon looks to find further ways to fuck with them tonight. The show is from Calgary, so you can probably expect a Screwjob reference or attempt from Vince tonight.
JR talks about getting an anonymous letter saying we would meet The Undertaker's wife tonight, which is odd, since Taker is not even at the show.
Vince McMahon comes to the ring. He is very thankful for Canadian hospitality, then goes on to shit on their weak dollar, patriotism....which stops the show so Canadians can cheer themselves for being Canadian. Lol. Jericho interrupts him. Great, can't wait for MORE Canadian references. The same ones that happen at every show in Canada for 30 years. Jericho's Canadian microphone didn't work. Jericho wants a title match with Austin tonight. Fans are so hot for literally anything either guy says. Must be so easy. Vince created two of the biggest sluts that have ever lived, according to Jericho. This gets a SLUT SLUT SLUT SLUT chant going. Oh, he wasn't calling Shane a slut. He was talking about Steve Austin. Steph is definitely a slut, though. He then plays a clip of Vince performing Stand Back at the Slammy Awards in 1987. I'm pretty sure DX did this same segment at least 3 times. Vince gives Jericho his title match...against the Big Show, for the Hardcore Championship. This brings Benoit out. Who would have guessed that little Chrissy Benoit from Stampede would be one day having dueling promos with Vince McMahon and dancing on stage? Wtf, Benoit tries to get a title shot with Austin. Dude. Your teammate JUST asked for that and got denied. Real dick move. More clips from Stand Back are shown. Benoit gets to face Rhyno. Whoever is the most impressive in their match will get a title match with Austin tonight. This went on way too fucking long.
Fink comes out to introduce the Hart Family. Poor Stu looked like he had no idea where he was.
Hardy Boyz vs X-Factor
I don't remember Eddie being paired up with the Hardys at all, but he's out there with them, dressed up in Hardy gear. People really don't like X-Pac. No one cares at all about Justin Credible. Even Paul E. isn't hyping him up. Lita is the most over person out there, though. Outside interference from both sides. Hardys get the win. Eddie saved Jeff from Albert after the match.
TO THE BACK. Trish and Terri fight over mirror time.
TO THE OFFICE. Commissioner Regal and Tajiri set up a picture of the Queen when Albert comes in to demand a match with Eddie tonight.
Rhyno vs Chris Benoit
Benoit starts the match hitting German suplexes. So, Vince will choose which guy was more entertaining tonight. How do you quantify that? Is Mr. McMahon scheming? GORE GORE GORE to the already injured ribs of Benoit sends him to the floor. Why is Benoit, a dude with taped up ribs, doing superplexes? Benoit counters the GORE with the crossface for the win.
TO LAST THURSDAY. Grandmaster Sexay thought he saw Trish giving Steve Blackman a handjob. It was HILARIOUS. A HILARIOUS MISUNDERSTANDING.
Trish Stratus/Steve Blackman vs Terri/Perry Saturn
What a time 2001 was, when a guy gets a comedy gimmick of having brain trauma and acting weird because of it. Literally said as "he has a bit of brain trauma". More Stampede representation here with Blackman. Terri is wrestling in big chunky heels. That seems really terrible idea. Speaking of terrible, look at that bulldog from Trish. The men weren't much better. WTF at the spot of Blackman spanking Terri, then just chucking her over his head without knowing Saturn was behind them. WAIT A MINUTE. THAT'S LANCE STORM! HE'S A WCW GUY! Superkick to Saturn! Blackman and Trish win as Lance runs away through the crowd.
DURING THE BREAK. Lance ran outside straight to Shane McMahon's limo. It's on!
TO THE BACK. Vince rips security a new asshole for allowing a WCW talent on his show. Each and every one of them will be fired if another WCW wrestler shows up tonight.
TO WWF NEW YORK. Al Snow is there giving the hard sell for Tough Enough.
TO THE BACK. Spike and Molly hate that their families are fighting. Kurt Angle interrupts them before they can kiss. Kurt gives them them the birds and the bees speech about how awful their babies would be. Spike bows up to Kurt...then slaps him. Kurt beats his ass. Molly runs for the Dudleys to help. As it turns out, the Hollys were walking about the locker room as the Dudleys left, so the Hollys attacked. After the break, Spike has no idea what happened to his brothers, but they think Molly just set them up. They're going to beat her ass tonight if she's at ringside.
Big Show vs Chris Jericho WWF Hardcore Championship
Things I don't miss at all: shitty hardcore matches. Show is just completely reckless in this. After getting dominated, Jericho wins with a missile dropkick while Show was holding the ring steps. New champion. As Jericho is walking to the back, Rhyno GORE GORE GORES him on the stage and pins him. New champion!
Albert vs Eddie Guerrero
Right before this match starts, there is a weird audio issue that separates the commentary and arena audio. Left channel is commentary only, right channel is arena sounds only. Very odd. I'm going to choose to listen without commentary, because it seems more interesting. Albert just smashes Eddie. Shaping up to be a total squash. Lita comes to ringside, which allows Eddie to roll up Albert for the win. Although, she was totally late on her cue and Eddie was doing the roll up before Albert even saw her. He gave Lita a hug after the match, but acted very shocked at himself for doing it.
As JR and Paul are talking, the Titan Tron is interrupted with a video of Undertaker's wife brushing her hair as a modulated voice speaks over it.
TO THE BACK. The Hollys talk about about their table match with the Dudleys. Molly tries to make sure Spike won't get put through a table. Elsewhere, Benoit and Jericho chat about their wins. Vince shows up ad says Austin wants to face both at the same time...but Vince won't allow that. Benoit gets the nod. Jericho hypes Benoit, then asks for the first shot after Benoit wins the title.
TO THE OFFICE. Commissioner Regal is giving Tajiri the business when Vince steps in. "Bloody foreigners." Lol. Austin has a great plan that Vince wants Regal to see.
Dudley Boyz vs Holly Cousins Table Match
Fuck the match. Dudleys won even injured. After the match, they got a hold of Molly. Spike begged them to let her go, then laid down on the table thinking it would stop his brothers from powerbombing her through it. It did not. They were both tended to by medical staff during and after the break. Both were worried about the other being okay. JR and Paul take this opportunity to talk about HHH's quad tear last week. Which had a pre-made video with interviews from HHH. Good thing Spike and Molly got injured!
HHH's has interviews with him, Dr. Andrews, and Stephanie. Footage of his surgery. They were projecting him to be back in action in 4 months.
Chris Benoit vs Steve Austin WWF Championship
Vince is out with Austin. Paul keeps saying "something is going to go down tonight", so I'm expecting a screwjob finish. And Earl is the ref. Specifically announced as the ref. They also had Fink out to do boxing style intros for the match with both guys not getting announced until they were standing in the ring together. #bigfightfeel. Fans are 100% on Benoit's side. Austin focuses on the taped ribs. Weird seeing him do roll up trading spots. He might have actually tapped out in the crossface, but it wasn't really highlighted. As he was reaching for the ropes, he missed it and his hand pounded on the mat. Seems like something JR/Paul should have picked up on. Paul talks about Benoit's training in Stampede as Benoit is getting rag tagged. Sharpshooter! Gets the biggest pop of the night, except for that self congratulatory chant the crowd gave themselves at the start of the show. Austin fights out of it, "But by God, the damage has been done". Austin tries to get himself disqualified by using the belt. Earl stops him, then argues with Vince out on the floor. While they're arguing, Austin hit the stunner and had Benoit pinned. Benoit then used the title to hit Austin, but Earl was late getting back into the ring to count the pin, so Austin kicked out. The crossface is on...Vince pulls Earl out of the ring. Earl shoves him on his ass. Vince is so good that Earl Hebner got a face pop. In Canada. Right in front of the Hart Family. Austin locks on the crossface. Vince immediately calls for the bell. Lol. Right in front of the Hart Family. Earl got a stunner after the match. Jericho came out and he and Benoit beat up Austin and Vince to end the hsow.
This marks the start of the Invasion. Why they had it be Lance Storm interfering in a meaningless mid card match is anyone's guess. However, since he was a hometown boy, it got a great reaction. Imagine if he had done the run in in the main event, costing Austin the title. That would have started the angle off on a completely different level. As it was, the message it sent to me was that "WCW guys are mid carders" right from the start. Technically, DDP also made his debut with the stalker angle, which as far as anyone knows has nothing to do with WCW at this point.
Crowd was super hot for pretty much everything, although nothing in the mid card is interesting at all. The Molly/Spike angle would be a lot better if either of them could deliver lines. The main event angle is basically what it had been for the past 4 years: Evil Vince McMahon trying to hold down the top face(s). Benoit definitely should not have been involved in nearly 20 minute opening promo segments. Even with Jericho doing most of the work, it felt like it went on for hours.