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Thread: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies


  2. #242

    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    Monday Night Raw
    April 9, 2001


    In an interesting WWE Network note, the screenshot for the episode seems to be taken from an older version of the show because the WWF scratch logo is blurred out. Considering the scratch logo is shown in the actual episode, am I actually praising the WWE Network for not editing?!

    In a recap, weíre shown recent events with The McMahons detailing Mr. McMahonís poor treatment of Linda McMahonís catatonic state complete with Lindaís recovery. In a video tape given to Vince, Linda promised to show up to Raw to publicly confront her husband!

    Earlier today, Mr. McMahon confronts a battered Jim Ross as JR arrives at the building. McMahon is desperate to talk to JR to ensure that heís in the right state of mind.

    The Raw is War theme is played and it may be the first time Iím seeing this version in a couple of decades.

    Paul Heyman officially welcomes us to Raw with Jim Ross apparently still detained by McMahon. Kurt Angle came out to trash the Boston crowd before demanding that a champion, any champion, come out and offer him a title shot tonight because gosh darn it, this is the very building he won the King of the Ring crown a year ago! Instead of someone like Steve Austin (WWE World Champion) or Triple H (WWE IC Champion) coming out, itís instead the WWE Hardcore Champion - Kane. That leads directly into..

    Kane © vs Kurt Angle - WWE Hardcore Title
    Heyman hypes the Hardcore Title up as the only title that Angle hadnít won in the WWE, but thatís omitting the WWE Tag Team Titles. The early going of this fight really shined a light of what a glory period this was for star power. Itís just a random episode of Raw and youíre being treated to seeing two meaningful stars like Kane and Angle duking it out in an unannounced match. Although weapons are thrown into the ring, not much ends up happening other than Kane throwing Angle on top of a garbage can. The Big Show ended up running out with a second referee to try and take advantage of the Hardcore Title 24/7 rules. While he would be successful in hitting his lousy Final Cut sorta finisher, Angle tried to take advantage of it by jumping on top of Kane only for Show to break up the cover. After Show and Angle began working together, The Undertaker ran out to make the save. Thereís a fun comedy spot where Angle attempts to switch teams by following Kane and Takerís lead by delivering a punch to Show as well, but he then gets knocked out by The Brothers of Destruction. One double choke slam to Show later and Kane won a match against Angle by pinning...Show? Wacky, but a fun segment. **


    Backstage, Vince McMahon and Jim Ross seem to only just be starting their meeting. McMahon is trying really hard to butter JR up with one idea being to bring in Steve Austin. Since I believe Stone Cold is the one responsible for Rossí battered state, heís not exactly excited to see his old friend. All Vince and Austin wants to do is show Ross some movies.

    Elsewhere, Kevin Kelly approaches a dejected Big Show with Show upset with The Undertaker once again butting into his business. He wants Undertaker tonight.

    Back to the awkward meeting with McMahon, Austin, and Ross. McMahon plays the video tape and itís a copy of Smackdown that shows Ross confronting Austin for aligning himself with Mr. McMahon and betraying the fans. Austin made a great point on Smackdown by asking Ross when he (Austin) ever claimed to be a hero or that he cared about the fans? Ross reluctantly agrees with Austin before questioning him why heíd ever align himself with Triple H. Again, Austinís answer isnít bad as he questions why you wouldnít want someone sick enough to try killing your career to instead be on your side? From there, JR tried to appeal to Austinís heart by bringing up their past and how he feels as if heís losing his best friend. This only causes Austin to become more upset as he interpreats it as Ross saying he didnít want to be his friend anymore. As JR tries to end the interview, Austin attacks his former bestie. Mr. McMahon initially came out to stop Austin only to then encourage Stone Cold to not ďTake it easyĒ on his best friend. Ross is busted open and choked with a belt. For as big of a failure as the WWE had with Stone Coldís initial heel turn at Wrestlemania 17, they did some great stuff with early heel Austin to reinforce this new character. Anyways, back to the meeting and a gloating McMahon thinks Ross is in the right mental frame to go back to work without worrying about what he has to say. While Ross does tease the idea of suing Vince, he instead suggests itís more likely that heíll quit. Vinceís smile at the idea of that is wiped off his face when JR suggests that heíll quit and just go work for Shane McMahon and WCW.

    Back from a commercial break and Jim Ross is finally able to come to ring side to commentate. Heyman, with a big shit eating grin on his face, offers a hug, but JR mean mugs his partner.

    Rhyno vs Crash Holly and Molly Holly
    Can you believe that this is not only a match, but itís also a match with a backstory? Last week, Rhyno defeated the WWE Light Heavyweight Champion, Crash, in a singles match, only for Molly to interfere. As revenge, Rhyno gave Molly a Gore. Watching this, I had to really question why it was even a handicap match in the first place. At no point does Molly ever get tagged in. Instead, this really short match is just the men with one brief spot of Molly trying to interfere. Offense wise, all Crash could do was get in a nearfall with a Frankensteiner. Considering the fact that I was waiting for a tag before there's even a chance of a finish, the actual finish of Rhyno surprising Crash with a Gore came out of nowhere. Although I can appreciate short programs designed to make even random matches feel a tiny bit important, itís pretty pointless booking a handicap match when you have no plans on making it an actual handicap match. I am in complete support of this Rhyno push that was occurring in 2001. * ľ

    After the match, Rhyno prepared to Gore Molly for the second straight week, but Hardcore Holly ran out to make the save. This mini-program that I had zero memory of must continue!

    Backstage, Mr. McMahon is with Stephanie. Vince has a feeling that tonight isnít going to be a good night. Stephanie isnít concerned about Jim Rossí threat of jumping to WCW. Stephanieís comfort is short lived as the television playing in the background shows Linda McMahon arriving at the building.

    In the Castrol GTX Slam of the Week, Lita delivered a moonsault to Spike Dudley to apparently win a singles match last night on Heat.

    Backstage, Linda McMahon is greeted by various members of the roster including The APA and the WWE Womenís Champion, Chyna.

    Elsewhere, Michael Cole interviews Spike Dudley. Spike is surprisingly upbeat about losing to Lita, but ends up being bullied by the incoming X-Factor. Spike lost to a girl! What a loser! Poor Spike ends up being attacked and I think that this may have been the catalyst for the Dudleyz vs X-Factor program.

    Last week on Smackdown, William Regal and Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit in a handicap match when Benoit was trapped in the Ankle Lock/Regal Stretch. To everyoneís surprise, it was Benoitís old rival, Chris Jericho, who made the save for The Crippler. Later, Jericho lost the IC Title to Triple H thanks partly due to an interfering Regal.

    Backstage, The Coach shows up to Commissioner Regalís office. As punishment for their recent show of respect to each other, Regal wants Coach to inform Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit that they will have to wrestle each other tonight.

    In the JVC Blast of the Night, The Big Show was on the hunt for The Hardy Boyz last week on Smackdown, only to instead be ambushed by The Brothers of Destruction.

    The Undertaker vs The Big Show
    To my surprise, The Undertakerís ďRollinĒ theme song is intact on the WWE Network. Oh sure, ECW has all of their theme songs scrubbed by the Network, but we still get to hear Limp Bizkit. This was a strike based match that only lasted a minute and a half. A bunch of punches until Show reversed an Irish Whip to send Taker into the corner. After delivering a series of knees to the gut, Show then climbed up to the middle rope to deliver more punches until it was his time to jump backwards to assist in a ďLast RideĒ from Taker. That scores Taker the victory. Although I wasnít expecting a PPV length match or even a good match, this was practically nothing until the contrived finish. Has Big Show ever delivered punches from the middle rope before? This finish was an example of how beneficial the Hellís Gate was to Taker. He desperately needed a finisher he could easily use against men too large to hit his main finishers on. * Ĺ

    After a commercial break, Linda McMahon came out to announce that sheís now fully healed, back to work, and wishes Shane the best of luck with his new company. To then turn the attention towards her husband, she calls out Vinnie Mac. Vince tries to hug his wife, but she declines. He goes for a handshake, but again she isnít interested. Vince then changes his strategy and gets cocky, suggesting that Linda is only here tonight because she wants to apologize to him for what she did at Wrestlemania 17. Linda stands up for herself, telling her husband to shut up. Linda then plays a Smackdown clip from December where Vince announced that he wanted a divorce. She then recaps everything Vince did in the months since that while Linda was in a catatonic state including Vinceís public relationship with Trish Stratus. As time went on, Vinceís relationship with Trish began to be shown in front of Linda. Vince realizes what Linda wants and the entire reason for her being here - she wants an apology. Vince apologizes, but Linda corrects him. She doesnít want an apology, she wants a DIVORCE~! At this point in time, itís a great new twist in a several month long angle, but considering the divorce angle was just dropped once the Invasion began, this segment sure did feel pointless.

    Backstage, Lita rushes up to Linda McMahon before she leaves in her limo to congratulate her on such an inspiring moment. Vince tried to stop Linda before she left, but itís too late. Vince then turned his attention towards Lita, taking out his anger on her. Tonightís main event will be Steve Austin, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon vs Lita and The Hardy Boyz.

    The Dudleyz vs X-Factor
    A match created solely because of the backstage altercation between Spike and X-Factor. For those keeping count, including the announced main event, thereís four matches tonight that werenít even booked prior to the start of Raw. Spike may still be a newcomer on the WWE roster, but the WWE knows how to book him well as heís absolutely murdered by Albert. During the actual match, Spike was caught flying to the outside by Albert who threw him into the ring post effectively taking Spike out of the match. Similarly to the rest of the show, itís another short match with a finish that seems to come out of nowhere. After The Dudley Boyz knocked Albert out of the ring, they managed to hit the 3D on Credible to win the match and seemingly end the issue before a full fledged feud could develop. The spots with Spike were fun at least. **


    After the match, The Dudley Boyz tried to put X-Pac through a table, but Albertís push got in the way. Spike is launched from the ring to the outside and Bubba receives a Baldo Bomb through the table. The feud is officially on. Although it wouldnít last long, you could really tell that WWE was getting behind Albert prior to the Invasion derailing his push.

    Backstage, Vince is trying to flee the building, but Triple H and Stephanie are trying to stop him. Vince blows him off and the pair are left confused about the main event.

    Elsewhere, Team Xtreme are discussing the main event. Matt is sorta blaming Lita for forcing them into such a dangerous match tonight. Meanwhile, Jeff is psyched at the opportunity.

    Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho
    In a surprise reveal, Commissioner Regal came out after both entrances to announce that he would be the special guest referee for the match. The story here is that although Regalís main rival is Jericho, heís more interested in the two Canadians killing each other. As a result, Regal was shown often encouraging the wrestlers to keep fighting when thereís moments of non-action and openly ignoring pin attempts to ensure that the match would continue. Thereís not really a story action wise though. Just a series of quality sequences with neither man able to gain the advantage on the other. After Benoit pulled Regal in front of him during a Jericho middle rope drop kick, causing the Commissioner to be hit instead, Regal lost his cool and punched out both men. This ends up backfiring as Regalís entire goal for booking this match was to squash any blooming chumminess between Benoit and Jericho, yet now they have a common target in Regal. Benoit and Jericho proceed to destroy Regal, ripping at his refereeís shirt before locking in a double Walls of Jericho/Crossface while the match is apparently thrown out. The sequences were all crisp, but the real appeal here is the storytelling of Benoit and Jericho slowly becoming allies. I dig it. ** Ĺ


    Earlier tonight, Right to Censor is shown trying to appeal to Raven to potentially lure him into the faction, but Raven isnít interested. The way this segment came off is that this was a story that had already been started previously. I guess itís another mini-program like Rhyno vs The Hollys that I had completely forgotten.

    Over at WWF New York, the WWE Tag Team Champions, Edge and Christian. The champions are asked about their buddy, Rhyno, and his incident with The Hollys earlier on Raw. Edge teases a WWE Tag Team Titles match on Smackdown between E&C vs The Holly Cousins. The bigger news is that E&C are at WWF New York to celebrate their seventh WWE Tag Titles reign with cake and soda.

    Backstage, Steve Austin and Triple H go over a game plan for tonight, but avoid including Stephanie McMahon in the talks.

    Raven vs Val Venis w/Right to Censor
    This looked to be a short squash with Raven quickly dropping Venis with a DDT, but Richards pulled Raven out of the ring during the cover. Raven countered a Stevie Kick with a DDT. Raven again tried to pin Venis, but this time Bull pulled the referee out of the ring. This allowed The Goodfather to interfere and to hit the Ho Train. Venis covered, but Raven kicked out. Venis connected with a Fishermanís Suplex, but Raven kicked out again. More interference with Goodfather distracting the referee to allow Bull to hit a scissors kick. Venis finally finished Raven off with the Money Shot to win the match. Although he lost, WWE made Raven look as strong as they could with how difficult it was for Right to Censor to screw him over in this unofficial four-on-one handicap match. Ideally, Raven will beat Right to Censor either on Smackdown or next week on Raw to win the program. I remember really getting behind this Raven babyface push prior to the Invasion. **

    The Two Man Power Trip and Stephanie McMahon vs Team Xtreme
    Due to how short every other match tonight was, at just seven minutes long, this one felt way longer than it actually was. For what it was, I really enjoyed it. The Hardyz brought a lot of offense against their far bigger star opponents. Jeff, in particular, found a great deal of success against Hunter in the early going with some nearfalls. Both members of the Two Man Power Trip would suffer a Poetry in Motion. After Matt got in some offense against Austin, The Hardyzí string of good luck ran out once Jeff came back in and suffered a spinebuster from Stone Cold. This kicked off Austinís exhibit of being extra aggressive when he had Hunter try to jump into the ring to distract the referee allowing Stone Cold to deliver a low blow. The face-in-peril work continued until Jeff was able to score some drama as he battled to reach a hot tag. First he managed an enziguri against Hunter to free himself from enemy hands. Then when Stone Cold prevented the tag, Jeff kicked Austin away. Yet again, one of the heels would prevent Jeff from tagging out to Matt by grabbing onto Jeffís leg, but this time Jeff wouldnít be dettered as he managed to leap and reach the hot tag while pulling Hunter into the Team Xtreme corner. Matt would briefly get in offense including a top rope closeline to both Hunter and Austin before Austinís mean streak returned to send Matt to the outside and throw him into the commentatorís table. While Jeff dive onto the outside to nail Hunter, Lita jumped into the ring to send Stephanie into the ring as well. One Twist of Fate and Moonsault later and Lita successfully managed to pin Stephanie to win the match. This, despite the fact that the women were never legally tagged in. In fact, much like the handicap match, the women were booked in the match without intending to actually wrestle. Unlike Molly Holly, the women in this match did have a purpose as Stephanie was there to take the fall, but still, couldnít they have at least been tagged in? The biggest appeal of the match is just how fresh it felt. Not only is this the first tag match for the Two Man Power Trip as an actual unit, but The Hardy Boyz are finally able to wrestle someone of main event level status. Unlike their peers, E&C and The Dudley Boyz, Matt and Jeff were never booked against main eventers. Their highest profile opponents or partners were just upper midcard wrestlers like Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. As a result, thereís a lot of fun to witness Austin and Hunter actually sell for The Hardyz. ***


    After the match, Triple H entered the ring to intimidate Lita. Rather than being able to escape, Lita is cut off by Austin, chair in hand. Could Stone Cold actually be planning on hitting Lita with a chair?! Instead, Hunter attacked Lita from behind, continuing the attack, including with a Pedigree, until The Hardyz attempted to make the save. Thatís Austinís cue to use his chair on Matt and Jeff with Matt getting the worst of it. A hurt Lita slowly crawled over to Matt, shielding him with her body to prevent any more chair strikes from Austin. Instead, Stone Cold fully gives in to the dark side and starts slamming the chair against Lita. The chair strikes continue with Austin even choking her with the chair. Itís a pretty crazy scene and is another huge step in successfully turning Austin heel. A great post-match segment.

    Overall
    This post-Wrestlemania pre-Invasion period is a pretty frustrating time for the WWE. Even with The Rock away filming a movie, the star power in the company is crazy high. Thereís so many fun and over characters that should make for an amazing time period. However, this is also a short period where WWE struggled to embrace this freshness. As great as the end of the show angle with The Two Man Power Tripís destruction of Team Xtreme was, you know itís just leading to a dull program with The Brothers of Destruction that was a total drag until WWE came to their senses and inserted Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho into the roles instead. Even then, you know that Chris Benoit and Triple Hís injuries are about to occur, so thatís not even going to last long. This goes for both the main event scene and the undercard. I love Ravenís push at this point, but I know it isnít going to last much longer either. Quality wise, the show was okay. The matches were generally really short and just energetic bursts of action with nearly every match only being made official that day, typically after the start of the episode. Despite practically none of the show being booked prior to the episode beginning, in kayfabe, I do have to applaud the show for having so many backstories to every match. Since the matches generally didnít matter much, the real importance came from the angles. Whether it was the emphasis on Steve Austinís new heel character or Linda McMahon asking for a divorce, it seemed like a big deal. Again, I donít recall the divorce angle going anywhere especially with the McMahons reuniting to fight off The Alliance.

  3. #243
    Curtain Jerker
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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    Thanks for the review, Jim! It was a nice read. Hopefully you're able to review the following SmackDown, where Jeff got his revenge and won the IC Title from Triple H.


  4. #244
    The Only 2x WC HOF
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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    That main event segment is burned into my brain. That is some great shit

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