Home > WWF > WWF Raw Is War 6.25.2001

WWF Raw Is War 6.25.2001

WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, June 25th, 2001

Live from Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kane (5/20/2001)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (6/21/2001)
WWF European Champion: Matt Hardy (4/26/2001)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Test (6/14/2001)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy (6/07/2001)

~ Raw comes on the air and skips the opening to go right to the arena as Vince McMahon struts his way to the ring becuase he just can’t wait to put himself on TV. Vince gets on the mic and brags that the rumor of Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho defecting to WCW should they have won the title never happened because Stone Cold Steve Austin is still WWF Champion after defeating both men all by himself. Vince also mentions how Austin won in spite of Booker T’s interference and starts to ponder what the “T” stands for, such as Terrible, Trash, and maybe even Troglodyte. Vince also suggests T might mean “Temopoarily Employeed” because he intends to put all of WCW back out of business. Vince then goes into how MSG is hollowed ground because a WCW guy has never stepped foot into it and never will. Vince also calls MSG the house the WWF helped build and played host to many memorable moments in WWF history. Vince decides to share one and talks about his father, Vincent J. McMahon, being inducted into the MSG Hall of Fame. Vince wants us to take a look and shows the 1996 WWF Hall of Fame induction video for Vince Sr. on the TitanTron, with the crowd poping for some of the oldtimers. Once that’s done Vince finishes up by promising more memorable moments in Madison Sqaure Garden tonight.

~ And NOW we get the opening video after Vince already did his opening spiel, like this is an ECW television show. Anyway Jim Ross and Paul Heyman officially welcome us to hits post-King of the Ring show and announce that tonight The Undertaker and Kane challenge the Dudleys for the Tag Team Titles. And we’re not even going to wait for a commercial break as we go right to the opening match.

  • WWF HARDCORE TITLE: Test © vs. Rhyno

Rhyno gets his rematch for the title after Test beat him for it 10 days prior with help from Shane McMahon and Stacy Kiebler. Rhyno goes right to work on Test and whips him into a corner then connects with the running shoulderblock. Rhyno goes out for plunder and tries to bring a trash can in the ring but Test boots it into his face on the apron. Test throws Rhyno back in the ring along with some plunder when Rhyno grabs a trash can but misses the swing. Rhyno tosses the can at Test (who catches it) then charges but Test rams the can into Rhyno’s head for a two count. Both men head out to the floor but Rhyno tosses Test over the barricade and brawls with him among the fans. Rhyno throws Test into a guardrail then sets the rail up and goes for a suplex onto it but Test blocks it. Test switches it and suplexes Rhyno onto the rail then brings him to the back and rams him into a large scaffold. Rhyno fights back and sets two tables next to eack other but Test pops Rhyno and sets him onto the tables. Test climbs the scaffold when Rhyno gets up but Test kicks him away then jabs him with a fire extinguisher. Test sets Rhyno back on the tables then climbs up the scaffold and hits a flying elbowdrop through the tables. Except the tables don’t really break they just kind of squirt out of the way. Test tosses Rhyno into a recycle cart and rams it into a wall then grabs a metal ladder and jabs Rhyno with it. Test then sets Rhyno up for a powerbomb onto the ladder but Rhyno backdrops him onto the concrete floor. Test gets to his feet but Rhyno Gores him into a metal barrier and gets the three to regain the title. (4:33) Pretty boring match, even for a hardcore battle, but at least Rhyno got the title back he never should have lost. Or so it appears. DUD

Rhyno celebrates his victory … but not for long as we see Mike Awesome running up the tunnel behind him! So much for a WCW guy never stepping foot in the Garden, and so much for Diamond Dallas Page being the first one as well. Anyway Awesome grabs a 2×4 and breaks it on Rhyno’s head then nails him with an Awesomebomb onto the ladder. Awesome grabs the referee and forces him to count a pinfall for him and apparenlty he wins the Hardcore title. (0:35) Awesome grabs the Hardcore belt and walks off while JR is going ballistic as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Mike Awesome making a surprise appearence and winning the Hardcore Title. JR and Heyman make a big deal about a WCW guy winning a WWF title, and in Madison Square Garden to boot. At least they try to make it a big deal, but it’s not like the Hardcore Title really meant anything at this time, plus Awesome was still tainted by WCW’s bad gimmicks.

  • WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Jeff Hardy © vs. X-Pac

Yep, a rematch from the pay-per-view that Jeff won cleanly, meaning there shouldn’t be any reason for it again. And to think people actually paid to see this match. This is why you should always be concerned when X-Pac does a job on pay-per-view. Anyway X-Pac gets in the first shots before Jeff fights back when X-Pac whips him but he eats a shoulderblock. Jeff comes off the ropes and X-Pac leapfrogs over him then goes through his moves but misses a spinkick. Jeff hits a mule kick then charges at X-Pac who backdrops him over the ropes but Jeff lands on his feet. X-Pac goes for a baseball slide but Jeff flips over him back in the ring and hits a dropkick through the ropes. Jeff brings X-Pac back in the ring and goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses it but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles. Jeff readies for soemthing but X-Pac dropkicks him from behind and sends him flying into the barricade. Jeff is down while X-Pac climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying sledge then throws him in the ring. X-Pac applies a chinlock, Jeff fights out and goes for a Frankensteiner but X-Pac counters with a powerbomb. X-Pac climbs to the top again and leaps off for something but Jeff catches him in mid-air with a dropkick. Jeff follows up with a wheelkick then goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses it but Jeff hits a flying clothesline. Jeff goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses him into a corner. Jeff lifts himself over X-Pac with the ropes and rolls him up but X-Pac kicks him away into the corner. X-Pac stomps Jeff down in the corner then goes for the Broncobuster but Jeff gets his foot up to block it. Jeff then climbs to the top rope and goes to hit the Swanton Bomb but ends up missing X-Pac with it. X-Pac gets Jeff with a backslide with his feet on the ropes and gets the three for our second title change in as many matches. (3:12) X-Pac becomes the second man to hold the Light Heavyweight and WCW Cruiserweight Title. Not a bad match but definintely a step down from the pay-per-view. **

~ Backstage Vince is stressing out about tonight when Steve Austin and Debra come in and ask how he’s doing. Vince rants that he was raped by WCW after Mike Awesome stole the Hardcore Title while Austin wasn’t around. Isn’t Vince getting a little too worked up over this, after all it’s just the Hardcore Title. Anyway Austin tells Vince he doesn’t care about him since he kept the WWF Title while Vince wasn’t there when he needed him. Austin says he sent Chris Benoit to the hospital, beat Chris Jericho and survived Booker T’s interference on his own. Vince tries to smooth things over when he and Austin share a hug while Debra just rolls her eyes. Ooookay.

~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of MSG as JR shows a ‘Garden Classic’ clip of the WWF in the Garden. This clip highlights Bruno Sammartino in action as Heyman mentions Bruno’s eight-year (W)WWF Championship reign. JR and Heyman then segue into clips of Booker T making a surprise appearence during last night’s WWF Title match.

~ Backstage Trish Stratus is talking on a cell phone when The Big Show walks up looking to put the moves on her. Show wants to show off his new shirt which says ‘Big Show’ and also has an arrow pointing downward to something. Show then says he wants to take a European vacation after he beats Matt Hardy for the European title tonight and invites Trish to come along. Trish gets interested in a little downtime, as long as they get separate rooms.

~Elsewhere Vince talks with the Austins and offers them a vegetable tray when Kurt Angle limps in the room. Vince congradulates Angle for a job well done at the pay-per-view and puts over his wrestling three different matches. Angle says he has a cracked tailbone and a concussion but will make it. Austin freaks out and calls Angle pathetic and the two argue back and forth until Vince tries to smooth things over and offers Angle some carrots. Angle takes a seat and reaches for the veggie tray but declines when he notices Austin eyeballing him. Funny stuff.

~ Back from break we get another ‘Garden Classic’ clip, this time highlighting Superstar Billy Graham.

~ We then find Steven Richards in the ring dressed in black as he gets on the mic and calls New York a cesspool. Richards doesn’t get to say much else as Tazz makes his way out and I guess we have a match …

  • Tazz vs. Steven Richards

… which is over as fast as it began as Tazz hits a T-bone Tazplex then whips Richards and slaps on the Tazzmission and that’s it. (0:13) And the point was…what?

~ We then find William Regal and Tajiri heading somewhere with a rather large trophy which they reveal is for Edge for winning King of the Ring. Yep, no crown, sceptre or robe this year, Edge gets a trophy for whatever reason. JR informs us we’ll have that special coronation ceremony next as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Kurt Angle is enjoying the vegetable platter while Austin is just sitting there scowling at him before asking for a moment with Vince. Austin practically begs Vince to ditch Angle, expressing his displeasure with Angle’s pressence, but Vince feels with the KOTR coronation up next, Angle may be traumatized if he’s not with somone. Angle offers Austin a carrot then goes on about how they’ve each been King of the Ring in the past as well as former WWF Champions so in his view they could almost be related. However Austin doesn’t appear to share that sentiment. Another humorous segment as Angle and Austin had some good chemistry.

~ The ring has been decorated for the special ceremony as William Regal heads out with Tajiri and the KOTR trophy in tow. Regal takes a moment to insult New York on the mic before bringing out Edge, who comes out with Christian by his side. Regal congradulates Edge on winning the 2001 KOTR, despite it being tainted by Shane McMahon’s interference, and suggests E&C give a five-second pose for the fans. E&C comply and they pose with the trophy while Tajiri … does the robot? Christian takes the trophy while Regal hands the mic to Edge but Christian also takes the mic out of Edge’s hands and mentions what an honor it is for him to be standing next to the 2001 KOTR and how proud he is of Edge. Christian brings up how Shane McMahon interfered in his match as well and cost him his shot to face Edge in the final after he faced tougher competition. Edge doesn’t look thrilled with his partner taking up his mic time as Christian again tells Edge how proud he his of him then hands over the mic to him before he turns and grabs the trophy. Edge declares tonight the “Era of Awesomeness” … when Billy Gunn comes out to the stage? Geez, who invited him? Billy gets on the mic and welcomes Edge to the KOTR winner’s club, reminding us how he was 1999 King of the Ring. Billy tells us how he was looking forward to defending his KOTR crown last year but was out with a shoulder injury, then whines that he wasn’t entered in this year’s tournament and was stuck at WWF New York watching ‘a talentless joke’ win it. Edge in return calls Billy a vaccum cleaner that sucks and blows at the same time then asks him that if he’s stuck with hosting duties at WWF New York in 2003, to please shoot him in the head. Edge then tells Billy “1999 was, like, so two years ago” and it’s not his fault Billy’s done a big pile of nothing since. Edge vows to Regal to not “Billy Gunn” his KOTR title because he actually plans on being entertaining! Ouch! Billy challenges Edge to a match tonight and Edge promises that his first act as King will be to annihilate Billy B****cakes. Edge just laid an awesome verbal beating there and the crowd ate it up, which I guess marks the beginning of his face turn.

Back from break it’s another ‘Garden Classic’ clip, this time of the Sgt. Slaughter/Pat Patterson Alley Fight in 1981. Still a fun match to check out today.

  • WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Dudley Boyz © vs. The Undertaker & Kane (w/Sara)

Kane wasn’t able to unseat the Dudleys for the belts at the pay-per-view with Spike, so maybe he’ll have better luck with his real partner. Plus they deicded to have Taker’s wife accompany him like she’s one of the regular valets. Yeah. All four men duke it out but Taker and Kane clear the Dudleys from the ring then go after them on the floor. Kane pops D’Von with an uppercut while Taker rams Bubba into the announce table then throws him in the ring. Bubba starts to right back and chokes Taker in a corner then whips him into the other corner but eats a boot. Taker hits a flying clothesline then grabs the arm and walks the top rope before clubbing Bubba in the back. Taker knocks Bubba around the ring when D’Von makes a blind tag and helps Bubba hit a double neckbreaker. D’Von goes for a whip but Taker reverses it and hits a boot followed by a legdrop before tagging Kane in. Kane pummels D’Von in a corner and caps off with a right hand then slams him but misses with an elbwodrop. D’Von tries to fight back and goes for a whip, Kane reverses it but lowers the head and D’Von kicks the face. Kane no-sells it and hits an elbow then whips D’Von into a corner and clotheslines him then decks Bubba. Kane plants D’Von with a sidewalk slam then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane covers D’Von but Bubba is in to make the save so naturally Taker comes in and goes right after Bubba. Taker clotheslines Bubba over the ropes while Kane pounds on D’Von then whips him and hits a powerbomb. Kane covers D’Von but Bubba pulls the referee out of the ring before three then he and Taker start brawling. The referee tries to break it up while Albert suddenly runs in the ring and plants Kane with a Baldobomb. Albert drapes D’Von over Kane and heads out before the referee comes in and counts the three to retain. (4:52) Wow, way to build up your tag team champs, having them get destroyed and needing a run-in to bail them out. Plus the bookers just had to keep that Kane/Albert feud going even though it should be over with. *

Anyway Kane stroms out of the ring chasing after Albert while Taker watches and gets nailed from behind by Bubba. Bubba whips Taker but Taker comes back with a chokeslam then stands tall in the ring while Sara applauds him. Taker and Sara both head up the ramp and stop to salute the fans and I wonder if this is setting up something. And sure enough, here’s Diamond Dallas Page with a chair as he whacks Taker in the back and the face with it. Sara stops DDP before he swings again and looks ready to go at it with him and DDP seems rather amused. Sara takes a swing but DDP blocks it and takes her down by the hair before pulling out a few extensions. DDP then takes off before Taker can get back to his feet so he tends to his wife as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Diamond Dallas Page showing that his feud with Undertaker isn’t done yet. We also get footage of Taker helping Sara up and cursing DDP during the break, just in case you cared.

~ Backstage William Regal is also cursing DDP to Tajiri and how this WCW nonsense has gone on long enough. Regal then mentions the rumor of Chris Jericho or Chris Benoit jumping to WCW if they won the title last night, and while Benoit is out of action, Jericho deserves to be punished. Regal tries to think of a way to do it, since he’s done so much to him already, when Tajiri volunteers to take care of Jericho tonight for him. Regal goes ahead and makes the match, much to Tajiri’s delight.

  • WWF EUROPEAN TITLE: Matt Hardy © (w/Lita) vs. The Big Show (w/Trish Stratus)

Our fourth title match of the evening, with two of the earlier ones resulting in new champions. How will Matt fare? Matt tries to evade Show to start but Show throws him to the mat then works him over with knees to the chest. Show whips Matt into the oppostie corner and goes for an elbow but misses and Matt works over Show’s arm. Matt applies an arm wringer but Show easily flings him out through the ropes. Show goes out after Matt and goes for a clothesline but Matt dodges it and Show rams his arm into the ringpost. Matt rams Show’s arm into the steps but Show shoves Matt away and press slams him onto the barricade. Show chokes Matt on the steps then tosses him in the ring and follows up with a headbutt as Trish applauds. Show whips Matt and hits a big boot but misses an elbowdrop then Trish hops on the apron and kisses Matt. Matt asks what’s up when Show clotheslines him while Lita pulls Trish off the apron and relives her of her shirt. Lita wails away on Trish but then hops on the apron for whatever reason and Show easily carries her in the ring. Show grabs Matt by the throat for a chokeslam but Lita kicks Show below the belt and draws a DQ. (3:12) Once again another titleholder gets dominated and is saved by interference. Even though Show was worthless at this point they just had to protect him instead of doing the smart thing and having him put Matt over. DUD

Matt sets Show up for the Twsit of Fate but Show shoves him over the ropes while Lita bails out to the floor. Matt and Lita then head up the ramp while looking back at Show and Trish who glare out at them from the ring and I’m sensing this issue is going to have to be settled with an intergender match sometime soon.

~ We then cut over to WWF New York where JR says Perry Saturn and Terri Runnels are entertaining the fans. However instead of Saturn or Terri it’s Shane who’s McMahon making his way out to the stage with a mic in hand. Shane claims Vince is hot under the collar because WCW continues to infiltrate the WWF. Shane feels is out of necessity because WCW needs TV exposure but Vince has used his various contacts to block WCW from all the networks. Shane says Vince prevented WCW from airing on television so the next best thing is for WCW to invade the WWF. Shane promises that he’s going to put Vince out of business the same way Vince drove his father out of business and also brings Booker T out as the man who’ll lead the charge for WCW. Booker comes out and even has his classic theme as he takes the mic and brags about taking Austin out of the game last night and how Austin has become the hunted. Booker then dares Austin to come and face him, claiming that he’s going to be at WWF New York all night long. Any ideas how this is going to turn out?

~ We cut back to Vince’s dressing room where he, Austin, Angle and Debra all react to what they just watched. Austin especially takes exception to Booker’s comments and boasts he’d whip Booker’s rear end if Booker was in the Garden. Vince tells Austin WWF NY is only a few blocks from MSG so he suggests he go over there and take care of Booker, with Debra concuring. Austin agrees to get Booker but asks Vince to come with him, feeling they’re in this together. Vince instead convinces Austin to take Angle with him as backup and the two head out while Vince and Debra stay behind. And everyone out there can already see where this show is going because the ending is now that obvious.

~ Back from break we get a look at the New York skyline while JR and Heyman get us caught up on tonight’s happenings.

~ Backstage Al Snow and Hardcore Holly are walking when we see the Acolytes holding a gathering in their office. And it seems like the meeting is made up of the lower to midcard wrestlers such as Essa Rios, Haku, Dean Malenko, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather, Raven, Crash, Steve Blackman, Kai En Tai and K-Kwik, with none of the big names present. Heh. Anyway Faarooq goes on about how WCW feel they weren’t talented enough for them and not returning their calls. Faarooq says WCW is now running to them because the well ran dry and they can’t afford their million dollar houses. Faarooq says they all helped build this house and everyone agrees not to let WCW get themselves a piece of the pie. Bradshaw says everyone worked years to come to the WWF which makes them the best in the world at what they do. Uh, many of these guys are stuck on the weekend shows, Bradshaw. How does that make them the best in the world? Bradshaw says WCW couldn’t make it on their know and the WWF guys aren’t about to let them piggyback off them. Bradshaw says they’re going to start this fight and implores the scrubs to show why they’re on the WWF roster. Boy, you know you’ve got a killer army with guys like Funaki and Blackman and Rios on your side.

~ Billy Gunn is shown heading to the ring along with Edge and Christian, who’s still carrying Edge’s KOTR trophy. Edge tries to touch the trophy but Christian switches arms, moving the trophy away from Edge. More foreshadowing?

~ Back from break our ‘Garden Classic’ clip this time is Jimmy Snuka’s splash from the top of the cage in 1983. I’m sure you’ve seen it a few times.

  • Edge (w/Christian) vs. “The One” Billy Gunn

Let’s see how Edge’s first match as King goes. Both men lockup to start and Billy forces Edge into a corner then works him over abnd whips him into the opposite corner. Billy charges but Edge sidesteps him and starts getting in his offense. Edge goes for a whip and Billy reverses but Edge throws him down and follows up with a spinning heelkick. Billy bails out to the floor for a breather but Edge hits a baseball slide then continues his assault on him. Edge throws Billy in the ring then climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick for a near fall. Edge comes off the ropes but Billy hits a spinebuster then unloads on him and tosses him out through the ropes. Billy goes out and rams Edge into the steps then chokes away at him before throwing him back in the ring. Billy lays the boots to Edge and chokes him on the middle rope while the crowd shows their interest by chanting “Hogan” at a Hulk Hogan impersonator. Billy then looks out at Christian who proudly holds up the KOTR trophy, leaving him open for a spear from Edge. Edge fights back and plants Billy with a flapjack then goes for a whip, Billy reverses it but Edge sides under him and htis an enzuigiri for a two count as the crowd continues to not care about this match. Edge shoves Billy into Christian who’s on the apron with a right hand but Billy ducks it and Edge gets nailed. Billy rolls Edge up but only gets a near fall so he drills him with a jackhammer which gets another two count. Billy hammers Edge and hits a kneedrop for another near fall as I wonder how much longer this match can last. Billy whips Edge into a corner and connects with a Stinger Splash then readies himself for the Rocker Dropper when Christian comes in and drops him with a Slop Drop on the knee. Edge follows up with the Impailer and thankfully gets the pin. (6:19) Awful, awful match that did nothing to get Edge’s reign as king on the right foot. Edge tried his hardest but Billy was just beyond horirble in the ring, yet he kept getting television time when nobody cared about him anymore. Plus why did Edge even need help to beat Billy anyway, why not just let him win cleanly. Anway Edge celebrates as Christian hands the trophy to him…then grabs it back and heads up the ramp with it. DUD

~ Backstage Vince talks with Debra when she recieves a call from Steve Austin who reports that he’s stuck in traffic. Debra hands the phone to Vince who listens as Austin rants about the New York traffic and Kurt Angle being a dork. Vince tells Austin that Angle “is our dork, but he’s a dangerous dork and besides, he’s your backup dork tonight.” Vince assures Austin that the traffic will clear up and he’ll be at WWF New York soon enough.

~ Back from break our ‘Garden Classic’ clip this time highlights the first Wrestlemania in 1985. Interesting enough they don’t show any clips of the Hulk Hogan/Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper/Paul Orndorff main event.

  • Chris Jericho vs. Tajiri (w/William Regal)

I’m not aware of any other matches so I guess this is our main event and we’re finishing up with a promo. Tajiri finally has his own music and video but still has the Commissioner in his corner. Also JR uses this time to report that Chris Benoit is set to have major neck surgery this week and could be out three to six months. It actually ended up being over a year. Jericho gets on the mic and says Austin may still be champion but his quest for the title will never be over, and since he has som much pent up agression against Austin, he’s going to take it out on “Tajunoir”. Jericho rushes the ring and ducks a spinkick then whips Tajiri into a corner and connects with a splash. Jericho throws Tajiri shoulder-first into the ringpost then hits a series of snap suplexes and gets a two count. Jericho hits a chop and whips Tajiri but Tajiri comes back with a stiff kick to the ribs and goes for a Sunset Flip. Jericho rolls out of it and gets Tajiri in the Walls of Jericho when Regal hops on the apron to get his attention. Jericho lets go of Tajiri and decks Regal off the apron but Tajiri nails Jericho with a stiff kick to the face. Tajiri worls Jericho over with chops in a corner but Jericho is able to reverse positions and gets in his chops. Jericho whips Tajiri and charbes but eats a stiff kick and Tajiri follows up with a heel kick for a near fall. Tajiri puts Jericho in the Octopus and Jericho tries to power out but Tajriri rolls him up for a two count. Jericho whips Tajiri into a corner but Tajiri hops over the ropes to the apron and kicks Jericho in the head. Tajiri then climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick from behind but only gets a near fall. Tajiri whips Jericho but lowers the head and Jericho kicks the face and follows up with a standing enzuigiri. Both men get to their feet when Jericho gets in his shots first then whips Tajiri and connects with an elbow. Jericho follows it up with a clothesline for a near fall as well as some chops then whips Tajiri into a corner. Tajiri hops over the ropes to the apron again but this time Jericho nails him with the springboard dropkick. Regal tries to help Tajiri up when Jericho nails Regal with a baseball slide then throws Tajiri back in the ring. Jericho goes for a whip, Tajiri counters and goes for a Frankensteiner but Jerich counters that into a powerbomb. Jericho holds on for a second powerbomb and covers Tajiri but Regal pulls Earl Hebner out to the floor. Regal then goes in the ring and assaults Jericho then holds him up as Tajiri readies himself for something. Tajiri then sprays the green mist … but Jericho ducks it and Regal takes the mist to the face instead. Tajiri as shocked at what he just did when Jericho bulldogs him then hits the Lionsault for the pin. (5:11) Jericho departs while Tajiri begs Regal’s forgiveness and tries to wipe the mist off his face to no avail. Very good TV match as Tajiri was allowed to show his abilities and I wouldn’t have minded a few more minutes. ***

~ We check in on Debra and Vince backstage just as Vince is talking with Ausitn on the phone about a brilliant idea. Vince tells Austin and Angle to wait in the car until he gives the signal then go in the building and make their move. Once Vince finishes he tells Debra that she’s going to enjoy this and heads out to the ring as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we cross the top of the hour and we’re going to close the show as we opened it, with Vince addressing the fans in the ring. Vince rants at the hollowed ground of MSG being soiled but he feels all’s well that end’s well because Austin and Angle are poised outside WWF New York ready to attack Shane and Booker T. Vince wants us all the enjoy watching the action on the TitanTron as he tells Austin and Angle to get things underway.

~ We then cut over to WWF NY as Austin and Angle exit the limo and head in the building looking for their quarry. However once they hit the stage a worker tells them Booker and Shane left already. Wow, didn’t see that coming, even though we saw the same thing just a month earlier. Austin gets on the mic and rants about Booker calling him out to WWF New York and not being there once he arrived. Austin also says how Booker “wanted to axe me something. An ax is something you chop a tree down with!” Austin pomises to beat Booker up the next time he sees him and that the bottom line as he and Angle head out.

~ We now cut back to the arena with Vince in the ring and I bet everybody can all sense what’s about to take place. Yup, Shane McMahon makes his way out and Vince glares at him allowing Booker T to come up from behind. Once Vince sees him he does get in a shot but Booker responds with a (somewhat weak) beatdown and caps it off with the Axe Kick. The Acolytes lead their army of scrubs to the ring but Booker and Shane escape in the crowd as we fade to black.

Conclusion: Well there you go, the official beginning of the WCW Invasion, what was supposed to be the next big storyline of 2001. Okay but somewhat underwhelming show with some so-so matches, but the Austin/Angle segments were pretty funny and the Edge promo was awesome. Unfortunately this episode also showed how desperate the WWF was by rushing into the Invasion; instead of waiting to start it off proper and possibly getting more of the WCW big-names on board in the meantime, they decided to just go in with what WCW guys they had, which wasn’t much outside of Booker T and DDP, and as a result the beginning of this supposed big angle just felt so underwhelming, especialy the climax. Imagine if more of the WCW big names were on board and they stormed MSG together, that would have been awesome. Sadly things would get much worse and wouldn’t really get any better, but we’ll delve deeper into it over the next few reviews. Thumbs in the middle here.

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