Date: August 19, 2001
Location: Compaq Center, San Jose, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman
Much like last year, a lot has changed in the last year. For one thing the Monday Night Wars are over and the WWF has absorbed the other two major companies to form the superpower that they are to this day. At the moment though we’re in the middle of the Invasion war, meaning it’s WCW/ECW vs. the WWF. That’s your double main event tonight: Rock vs. Booker T for the WCW Title and Angle vs. Austin (in the Alliance) for the WWF Title. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is a WWF themed music video for Bodies by Drowning Pool. That’s still the best live performance of a song I’ve ever heard.
Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Lance Storm
Back in and Storm works on the ribs with some knees and a front suplex for two. The crowd is very hot tonight. The spear misses but Edge kicks away from the Mapleleaf and gets two off a small package. We see the WWF guys cheering Edge on from the locker room. Edge tries a crucifix but gets countered into a rolling senton for two. We hit the chinlock with a knee in Edge’s back before a backsplash gets two.
Off to an abdominal stretch from the champion but he’s too far away to pull on the ropes. Edge hiptosses out and sends Storm to the apron for a springboard clothesline but Edge catches him in a powerslam to put both guys down. They slug it out with Edge taking over via some clotheslines and a spinwheel kick for two.
Edge-O-Matic gets two and a hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb for two on Storm. They hit the ropes and Storm rolls through into the half crab. Edge finally makes a rope and puts the same hold on Storm as the referee is bumped. Here’s Christian who accidentally spears his brother, giving Storm two. Not that it matters as Edge pops up and hits the Edgecution for the pin and the title.
Rating: B-. I liked this more than I should have but I’m a fan of both guys. This was a nice choice for an opener as it was very technically sound and gave the fans something to get excited for with a new champion. Not that the title changing means anything in the grand scheme of the Invasion but it’s not like anything really did.
Test says he didn’t turn his back on the WWF but vice versa. He praises the Dudleys and says they’ll take out Spike and the APA tonight. Test will show us what loyalty is tonight.
Chris Jericho calls Stephanie a big slut and says he’ll beat Rhyno tonight.
APA/Spike Dudley vs. Test/Dudley Boys
Spike has the incredibly cute Molly (looking very good in blue) with him here. Test cost the APA the tag titles a few weeks ago due to them accusing him of being the Alliance mole. Bubba starts with Faarooq as Heyman calls Spike a bully. The Dudleys quickly double team Faarooq with the reverse 3D until it’s D-Von taking him down with a clothesline and back elbow. Off to Test who gets caught in the wrong corner, allowing for the tag to Bradshaw.
A powerbomb is countered by a Test backdrop and it’s back to D-Von to pound away in the corner. Spike comes in with a quick small package and rollup for two each on D-Von but Bubba gets a blind tag and LAUNCHES Spike onto the top rope to take over. Bubba comes in and stomps away in the corner before it’s off to Test to pound on the very pale Spike. D-Von pulls out a table but Spike saves himself from being thrown through it. Back to D-Von for a HUGE double flapjack from both Dudleys. I’m not a Spike fan but he could be in some very impressive crashes.
D-Von misses a middle rope splash and it’s hot tag to Bradshaw who meets Test. Faarooq comes in as well and the APA cleans house but D-Von breaks up the fallaway slam. A powerbomb puts Test down but Bubba breaks up the pin. The Dudley Dog is countered with Spike being launched through the table and here’s Shane McMahon with a chair to knock Bradshaw silly, giving Test the pin.
Rating: D+. Pretty pedestrian stuff here but I’ve seen worse. The majority of this was Spike getting destroyed and very little between the APA and the Dudleys. Test was the focus of this match which isn’t the most interesting idea in the world but at least they were trying. Shane running in is kind of questionable for a match at this level but he’s a loyal owner (of WCW) I guess.
WWF stars congratulate Edge on the title win but brags about getting a European Title match. Grandma calls but wants to talk to Edge. Christian isn’t happy.
Shawn Stasiak comes in to see Debra (Steve Austin’s wife) and thinks he should change his trunks. He was a pretty funny comedy guy who was trying to get noticed at this point but Debra throws him out.
Light Heavyweight Title/Cruiserweight Title: Tajiri vs. X-Pac
X-Pac is holding the more famous title and this is winner take all. Tajiri is the big crowd favorite but both guys are WWF wrestlers. X-Pac uses the referee to backflip out of a top wristlock. Tajiri takes him down with ease and hits a standing moonsault for two but X-Pac rides him on the mat and slaps him in the back of the head. A hurricanrana sends Pac to the floor and a big Asai Moonsault takes him down.
Pac pops right back up and crotches Tajiri against the post to take over. Back in and X-Pac puts on a surfboard but has to let it go to avoid getting pinned. X-Pac misses the Bronco Buster and gets caught in the Tree of Woe, setting up a baseball slide to the face. Another big kick to the head gets two for Tajiri. There’s the Tarantula by Tajiri but it doesn’t last long, as always.
Tajiri loads up a top rope hurricanrana but Pac kicks him off, only to have Tajiri pull him down into a kind of standing backslide pinning combination for two. A German suplex gets two on Tajiri but Pac sends him to the floor for a big flip dive. Back in and the X-Factor gets two and here’s Albert (Tensai, Pac’s stable mate). Tajiri hits the mist on Albert but gets hit low and the second X-Factor unifies the titles (for about two months).
Rating: D+. Well that happened. There wasn’t anything special at all to this title as the Light Heavyweight division means nothing at all and never did, making this a boring match that no one cared about. Foley summed up the division perfectly in a promo in a few months: “X-Pac hasn’t been around in a few months and I don’t think anyone noticed.”
A very confused Perry Saturn is looking for his love, Moppy (an actual mop) at WWF New York. Someone kidnapped her and her face is on a milk carton. This is one of the guys that was a coup in the Radicalz deal people.
Stephanie gives Rhyno a pep talk and she still can’t act.
We recap Jericho vs. Stephanie which went on for months with Stephanie sending Rhyno after Chris, resulting in him Goring Jericho through the Smackdown set. I’d still have loved to see a Jericho/Stephanie on screen romance with them insulting each other so much that they became infatuated with each other.
Chris Jericho vs. Rhyno
Stephanie is at ringside of course. Rhyno runs him over a few times to start but a cross body takes the big man down. A top rope elbow to the head drops Rhyno and a jumping back elbow to the jaw gets two. The Walls don’t work and Rhyno bails to the floor, sending Jericho to the top. Stephanie grabs his foot and the delay lets Rhyno get up and Gore Jericho out of the air to take over.
Back in and Rhyno drops the injured ribs over the top rope and stomps away like a good monster heel would. Stephanie adds a LOUD slap and Rhyno hooks a body scissors to make Jericho scream. Back up and Rhyno hooks an airplane spin of all things to set up a TKO for two. Off to a surfboard with a knee in Jericho’s back but Jericho fights up and gets a rollup for two. A suplex puts Jericho right back down and weakens the ribs even more.
Rhyno goes up top and misses a splash that would have missed even if Jericho hadn’t moved. A double clothesline puts both guys down to give us a breather. Back up and Rhyno charges into a boot to the face and Jericho hits a middle rope missile dropkick. Stephanie finally gets involved by distracting the referee so Jericho kisses her to the floor.
The Lionsault kind of hits for two and the fans are surprised at the kickout. Rhyno comes back with a big spinebuster before putting on a Liontamer (not the Walls of Jericho. It’s a different move). Jericho finally crawls over to the ropes for the break but walks into a belly to belly which looks to set up the Gore. Chris dives out of the way to send Rhyno into the buckle, setting up the Walls for the submission.
Rating: B-. I liked this a lot more than I should have as it really wasn’t anything special. Jericho and Stephanie had some great chemistry that it’s almost impossible to not smile at their antics. Rhyno was a fine monster for Jericho to slay to make Stephanie even angrier and the match was better than I was expecting. Good stuff.
Rock torments Regal with catchphrases, sidesteps a charging Shawn Stasiak to send him running into a metal door, and leaves to get ready.
Hardcore Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy
Rob took the title from Jeff at InVasion but Jeff stole it back on Raw. This is the rematch with the belt hanging above the ring, meaning it’s time to climb some ladders. Van Dam takes him to the start in a wrestling sequence but Jeff spins out into a standoff. Rob scores some kicks but misses a dropkick to give Jeff a breather. Hardy is hipblocked to the apron but he hangs on and does the same thing to send Rob to the floor. A big springboard dive takes out both guys in the first high spot of the match.
Both guys head towards the ladders but Jeff sends Rob into the barricade but misses a dive off the top. Rob drops a leg on the back of Jeff’s head to put him on the floor before getting the ladder. Hardy pops up again and runs the barricade to take him down before the ladder is inside the ring. With the ladder halfway in, Van Dam gets up on the barricade and jumps onto the bottom end of the ladder to send the top into Jeff’s face. Back inside and Jeff dives over Rob to send the top end of the ladder into Rob’s face for good measure.
Jeff drops his legs on Rob’s which is usually a cover but here just hurts. Rob puts him in the Tree of Woe and hits some shoulders to the ribs to take over even more. The ladder is placed on the bottom rope in the corner and Van Dam hits Rolling Thunder out of the corner to crush Jeff against the metal. A slingshot legdrop crushes Jeff against the ladder again but Rob can’t follow up. Jeff gets up first and baseball slides the ladder into Rob’s ribs to send him rolling up the aisle.
Hardy is the first person to go up top but Van Dam runs back to the ring and hits a top rope kick to bring Jeff back down. The ladder is placed on top of Jeff again for Rolling Thunder but Jeff gets back up in time to dropkick the ladder out from under Rob. A DDT plants Van Dam but he rolls away from the Swanton. The Five Star misses as well and it’s time for the slow double climb. Hardy is higher up but Van Dam sends him face first into the top of the ladder and superplexes him off the top of the ladder.
They both go up again but this time it’s Jeff with a sunset bomb to put both guys down. Jeff goes up again and grabs the belt but loses the ladder underneath him. Rob grabs Jeff’s foot but lets go, sending Jeff swinging back and forth. Hardy finally falls onto Van Dam before setting up the ladder again, only to have Van Dam shove it over and send Jeff into the ropes. Van Dam finally climbs up and pulls down the title for the win.
Rating: B. To the shock of no one, this was a solid match. There are certain gimmicks that are tailor made for certain people and it’s ladder matches for these two. It was a good brawl and the fans were way into it as both guys were big fan favorites. It’s not as good as some ladder matches but it still worked very well.
Shane gives Booker bookends made of announce tables. Seriously.
We recap DDP/Kanyon vs. the Brothers of Destruction. DDP had been revealed as the stalker of Undertaker’s wife Sara which was so far removed from his character that it wasn’t even funny. Kanyon and Kane were brought in because a goofy career midcarder vs. Kane somehow evens out Page vs. Undertaker. Oh and they’re both tag champions to make this title for title. Kanyon is US Champion for no apparent reason.
Inside a cage to make sure the jobbers have no chance at all. The WWF guys have the WCW titles and the WCW guys have the WWF titles because CRAZY! Undertaker’s wife Sara drops the key to the cage down her shirt for safekeeping. The monsters dominate to start, shocking no one at all. Taker pounds on Page and Kane destroys Kanyon until DDP actually gets in a low blow and sends Taker into the cage.
The guys trade off opponents and Kane kicks Page’s head off as Taker destroys Kanyon. Kane powerbombs Kanyon into the corner as Taker rams Page into the cage. A big boot sends DDP’s head into the steel but Kanyon comes out of the corner to take Taker down. He hits a kind of Fameasser out of the corner to take Kane down but the Brothers sit up at the same time. Page and Kanyon go up top but Taker kicks Page down and tells Kane to let Kanyon go. Now it’s the Brothers against Page, two on one.
They take turns with running clotheslines in the corner and Taker hits a sidewalk slam for two. Kane yells at the referee in the corner as Taker pounds Page down. There’s a chain in the ring from somewhere and Taker whips Page in the back for fun. Kane is just chilling in the corner watching this. Taker tells Page he can leave and live, but if he ever looks at Sara again he’s dead. DDP tries to leave but gets chokeslammed off the top a few seconds later. The Last Ride ends the slaughter and gives the Brothers both sets of titles.
Rating: D+. So you the dominant team of former world champions beat a guy who is nothing like the successful character he portrayed a few years ago and his midcard comedic lackey. Thankfully this was only ten minutes long and Sara didn’t look bad. This finally ended Page’s destruction by Taker and Kane once and for all I believe.
Rock is having his injured ribs checked, steps aside to let Stasiak charge past him again, and tells the doctor he’ll be WCW Champion.
We recap Austin vs. Angle. Austin jumped to the Alliance because Vince McMahon was giving Angle too many hugs. Seriously, that’s what caused his heel turn. Angle became the great hope for the WWF and ran through the Alliance to get to Austin, earning this shot.
WWF World Title: Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle
Angle jumps Austin in the aisle and the fight is on fast. This was an interesting characteristic for Austin: despite turning heel, he was still basically the same guy. He would fight anyone that challenged him and would go straight at them every time. That’s very rare to see in a turning wrestler, but Austin is a very rare kind of wrestler. The brawl stars in the aisle before they head into the ring for the bell.
The champion is in control in the corner but Angle clotheslines him down to take over. A cross body gets two for Kurt but Austin heads after the knee to get control. That involves going to the mat though and Angle picks the ankle for the ankle lock but Austin makes the rope. Steve sends Angle into the barricade to put Angle down again before suplexing him a few times back inside.
As he tries for his fourth suplex in a row though, Angle reverses into the Rolling German Suplexes to stagger the champion. Kurt hits a remarkable SEVEN straight suplexes to put Austin down, but the Angle Slam is escaped and Austin pokes Kurt in the eye. Austin nails a superplex and there’s a Stunner out of nowhere for two. A second Stunner hits but Angle falls out to the floor. Austin sends him into the post to bust the challenger open then does it again for good measure.
Back inside though, all of that beating just gets two. Since it didn’t work, Austin sends him to the post again to bust Angle open even more. Austin goes to drop Angle onto the announce table but Angle slides down his back and sends Steve over the barricade and into the crowd, only for Austin to grab Angle and suplex him onto the concrete. Back to ringside and Angle grabs the ankle lock but it doesn’t count out there. Kurt realizes this so he grabs Austin back into the ring to put the hold on again, only for Austin to grabs the rope.
Back to ringside again because we haven’t been there in awhile. Angle hits a release belly to belly suplex followed by a belly to back. We head back in and Angle actually hits his moonsault for a VERY close two. Austin grabs a Million Dollar Dream, his old finishing move, but Angle climbs the ropes ala Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1996 and Rock at Wrestlemania X7. However this time Austin kicks out but also hangs onto the hold as the psychology of that spot gets even deeper.
Angle finally makes a rope but he’s spent. There’s the third Stunner but SOMEHOW Angle kicks out again. Steve slaps him in the face which only fires Angle up enough for a quick Angle Slam for a very delayed two count. Austin has had enough of this and punches the referee but walks into a DDT from Kurt for no count. Here’s a second referee to count two, only to get a Stunner for his efforts. A third referee comes out and gets decked but Angle hits another Angle Slam. A WCW referee comes out and ends the match with a DQ, keeping the title on Austin and in the Alliance.
Rating: A-. This was a great war with both guys leaving it all in the ring. The match also made Angle look all the greater because Austin couldn’t beat him and had to get himself disqualified. This gave the WWF the hero that it was needing, which is the whole point of this match. Angle would get another chance in the future though, and all it took was kidnapping Austin, threatening to throw him off a bridge in Toronto and throwing him in a kid’s pool.
Angle destroys the WCW referees post match.
JR goes into full I CAN’T SHOT SHOUTING AND SHAKING MY HEAD mode about how Austin can’t beat Angle.
We recap Rock vs. Booker T. Rock came back from making Scorpion King and affirmed his loyalty to the WWF by laying out Shane. Booker is his first opponent because…..well how else are you going to have Austin and Rock as world champions at the same time?
WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. The Rock
Rock has bad ribs coming in due to a Bookend (Rock Bottom) through a table. Rock fires off right hands to start but has to chase Shane around the ring. Booker jumps him coming back in but gets sent into Shane, setting up a Samoan drop for two. Things settle down a bit and Rock clotheslines Booker down before hooking a side roll for two. Rock wins a slugout and sends Booker out to the floor.
They head over to the announce table and Rock gets in a blatant low blow. Now it’s into the crowd with Booker sending Rock’s ribs into the barricade to take over. Back to ringside and Booker loads up the announce table but Rock comes back with right hands. Booker easily reverses a whip into the post and Shane takes off the turnbuckle pad. Back in (finally) and an elbow to the face gets two for the champion.
A knee drop to the face has Rock in trouble and Heyman wants a Spinarooni. JR: “It sounds like something from Chef Boy-Ardee.” We hit the chinlock for a bit before Rock comes back and hooks a Sharpshooter. Shane is pulled in again but Booker gets in a cheap shot for two. A slingshot into the exposed buckle has Booker in trouble and Rock gets two off a DDT. Shane puts a chair in the ring and picks up the WCW Title. The referee goes to get rid of the chair and Shane lays out Rock with the belt. This brings out the APA to lay out the Boy Wonder.
Both guys in the ring are down and Shane is knocked silly. His eyes rolled back in his head while laid out is a great visual. The Bookend lays out Rock but the referee is with Shane so the delayed cover only gets two. Rock’s clothesline and the belly to belly get two and there’s the People’s Elbow but Shane comes back in for the save. Shane gets a Rock Bottom on the floor (eyes open again) and Rock hits the spit punch on Booker, only to walk into a spinebuster. The ax kick sets up the Spinarooni but the Rock Bottom connects for the pin and the title for Rock.
Rating: B. The match is good but I doubt even Booker’s mama gave him a chance in this match. Overbooking the match helped and Booker didn’t look like a jobber or anything but at the end of the day it was fifteen minutes of killing time until the obvious ending. Still though, good match that got stuck being on after a classic.
Rock celebrates to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. For a period as bad as the Invasion, this was an excellent show. The world title matches were very good, the ladder match was better than I expected and there was some other nice stuff sprinkled in. Nothing on here is really bad at all and the crowd was hot all night. Good show here and worth seeing if you want a good way to kill three hours.
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