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Unread 01-08-2017, 01:39 PM
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Default New Years Raw 2001

Something that I hadn’t planned to do a week ago, I sat down and watched Raw on my New Year’s evening. Gotta get my head back into the game if I’m going to start competing again.

They started by recapping what happened on SmackDown last Thursday, which is great because I certainly wasn’t watching. Seems like Stephanie was screeching all over that show too, with her playing evil boss and getting the Dudleyz and Jericho beaten up, but Steve Austin pouring beer all over her earlier in the night. She had Rikishi, Steven Regal, and Kane defeat Undertaker and Rock in a handicap match. Are we sure they didn’t rehire Russo? (B-)

“Stone Cold” arrives and is met by Earl Hebner (who, as you all remember, helped screw Bret; but we’re in Texas and not Canada, so he gets a free pass) who tells him that Stephanie wants to see him. Thus begins The Stephanie Show. (B-)

So “Good old JR” informs everyone that we’re having a mini tournament tonight, where the winners go to Thursday to wrestle and the winner of that gets Kurt Angle next Monday. Undertaker takes on Fatu and then Kane against Rocky. Not a bad lineup, that’s two pretty big matches. (B-)

The show starts with Mark and Fatu? What logic is this? Did they not know that Nitro was running a New Year’s Special and aren’t live? Anyways, Undertaker wins with a DDT, which makes no sense because wrestling has said for years that Samoans have notoriously hard heads. Maybe they have hard heads but regular sized necks? I’m thinking that someone else in the WWF has a hard head, but he wasn’t on the show tonight. Undertaker moves on to SmackDown. (B-)

The Stephanie Show sees Austin in her office, where she tells him that he has to be a beer and hot dog vendor. Wait… are they recycling my old material? Because it sure looks like it. Austin beats up the previous vendor to the apparent delight of Texans everywhere. (B-)

And then we have a recap of the segment we just saw post-commercial break. (B)

Kurt Angle, Edge, and Christian arrive at the arena and are met by an interviewer. He fills the three in on the mini tournament and that they have a tables match tonight. Basically just a hype segment so fans stay tuned. (C+)

The Acolytes are out along with Jacqueline, and then Billy Gunn. I don’t know if there’s ever been a more misfire in wrestling history than Vince’s almost constant push of Billy, but if I were Gunn, I wouldn’t complain either. Ugh, that siren… they face three of Right to Censor, with Billy pinning Val after a lame duck match that only pushes this Ivory and Chyna feud forward. Bradshaw really was the star of this match, it looked like he was showing off for his hometown Texas crowd. Buchanan couldn’t keep up with everyone. It continues as Billy tries to hit a piledriver on Venis, but the RTC get away. So which of the gimmicks are deader in the water at this point; “The One” or the RTC? At least the APA are a hit, especially in Texas. (C+, D)

Steve Austin is backstage again as we move into part three of The Stephanie Show. At least even in the nWo’s heyday, I tried to only book myself once an hour so it didn’t get overly repetitive. She harasses him about hot dogs, he sprays her with mustard. I chuckled. She at least does have her dad’s lack of shame about looking bad for the camera. (B-)

After a break, Austin is sampling beer. I’m not sure if this is for storyline value or if they just left the camera on Austin backstage and then decided to air it. (B)

The Stephanie Show is now in her office on the phone with Vince, whining about Austin. He tells her she’s a McMahon dammit until Trish comes in. She flirts with Vince on the phone, but once it’s hung up she and Stephanie snipe at one another. This whole family drama is so riveting… I suppose. (B-)

Bubba and D-Von are backstage with an interviewer, and D-Von talks while Bubba spraypaints their opponent’s names on a table. They’re ready to “have wood” I guess. (C)

The WWF Rewind shows Raven winning the Hardcore title. (C-)

Scotty is out for a match, but he takes a microphone first and proclaims this The Year of The Raven. More like year of the drug orgies if Scott is allowed his way. Tazz’s music cuts him off from going on any further. (C+)

The Hardcore title is defended, they go all over the arena including into the women’s restroom (Kevin? Did you get hired along with Russo?) when the Hollys and Blackman get involved. For some reason, Raven pins Crash to win the match against Tazz. Look, I don’t much mind when something like this happens, but don’t do it after roasting WCW for years about doing it. Raven runs away while the Hollys and Blackman fight among themselves. Anyways, there was a good match here somewhere, but it got lost in the overbooking of the whole mess. (C-)

Austin now only has one beer remaining, and I guess he’ll pay for it himself as he brings it to the ring. (B-)

But first, the WWF Slam of the Week, which is Austin pouring beer on Stephanie last Thursday. We saw this at the beginning of the show, remember? (B-)

Austin hits the ring and demands his title shot. Stephanie says he didn’t sell all the food, but a cute nod to the other gimmicks of the company as he reveals he sold it all to the Acolytes and their poker players. Stephanie makes a third tournament match for tonight, which turns SmackDown’s match into a triple threat, between Austin and Steven- sorry, William Regal. Force of habit. Austin finds a way to rip Stephanie’s shirt off and she runs backstage covering herself. Ten minutes of my life I’m not getting back. (B)

JR hypes the tables match, which he says is “Tonight” but is actually next. (C+)

Well, after more Stephanie Show, as we recap her announcement and Austin ripping off her shirt. How many recaps can one show take? Find out on Raw! (B-)

Chris Jericho comes out and runs down Stephanie on his way to the ring, as now even people not involved with the storyline are talking about her. Kurt, Edge, and Christian talk on their way to the ring about beating everyone in the ring last Thursday, but Jericho makes a crack about Stephanie that, for some reason, pisses them all off. (B-)

Jericho and the Dudleys win the tables match, with a 3D on Edge through a table. Not a bad match, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jericho is upset at not being pushed very well. He left us because he thought he was just spinning his wheels and not going any higher, but what’s he doing now? (B-)

Test is backstage, and Trish tries to act. That’s all you really need on this one. (C-)

During the break, Steven Regal leaves Stephanie’s office with a smile on his face. So either he saw her changing or he got good news about his match. (C+)

Benoit defends the Intercontinental title against Test. Albert and Trish interfere to cost Test the title match. And so just like Jericho, who left WCW because he wasn’t getting anywhere, here stands Benoit, spinning his wheels just as much. (B-)

Test chases Trish away and then brawls with Albert as JR gets a barbeque flavored hard-on about two big hosses fighting. At least he can’t go on about football backgrounds. (C+)

William Regal – see, I’m slowly getting used to it! – is back with Debra McMichael – oh, there I did it again – and he tells her to tell Austin that there’s a surprise referee for their match tonight. (B-)

And then we recap that William Regal talked to Debra about a surprise referee. So are we running the show for 5 year olds who don’t have long term memories, or is it for teenagers who are going to roll their eyes at all these time wasting recap segments? (C+)

Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn with Terri join commentary for the next match. I know that one could say in WCW we never gave Malenko any personality, but what the hell is this ladies man crap? Ross immediately calls out on him being married, and the storyline should be ruined right there, but it goes on. (C-)

Kaientai come out to put over their dubbing gimmick, the same one we gave to La Parka ages ago. (C)

The Hardy Boyz defeat Kaientai pretty easily while Dean puts over this crap storyline. My WCW would have just had them put on great tag matches against one another, not have short matches and then spat about some married man wanting a piece of the rat at ringside. The crowd didn’t really care about this match at all. (C-)

And then Lita and the Hardys jump Perry, Dean, and Terri, laying them out and leaving. Babyfaces, ladies and gentlemen. Cheer. (C)

Kane and The Rock are seen heading for the ring for their match, so I guess Austin and Regal are now the real main event. (B)

JR and Lawler take time to talk about the triple threat match on SmackDown, and how Kane or Rock and Austin or Regal will face Undertaker on Thursday. Something seems fishy; no way do they throw Mark, Rocky, and Austin in a triple threat when it isn’t on pay-per-view. That is way too big a level of guns for a common TV show. (B-)

In a surprise move, Kane wins the match against Rocky when Angle runs in and hits Rock with the World title belt. I suppose that keeps Rock away from Austin now that he’s almost guaranteed a slot in Thursday’s triple threat. (B-)

During the break, Angle runs to E&C’s getaway car, and we get another recap video of what we literally just saw two minutes ago before we went to commercial. (B)

Regal comes out and shares some words of enlightenment to the crowd about being fat, stupid Texans in order to get all the cheap heat possible, before bringing out Stephanie as the surprise referee. I’m not all that surprised with this surprising development. (B)

But first, a Royal Rumble Replay video, as Mick Foley entered the 1998 Rumble three times. I don’t remember that happening, probably because at the time I was too busy counting the money I was making off beating Vince’s ass every week. (B)

So in the McMahon tradition of screwing people over, Regal defeats Austin via a fast count. So either something is getting changed on Thursday before the match starts or else Undertaker is getting the title match next Monday, because no way does Regal or a heel Kane get the match. (C+)

Ugh, then Stephanie screeches over the microphone. I mute the TV, so I don’t know what she says, but she gestures at Austin so it must have been some sort of taunting. Show ends with Austin looking pissed off. (B)

So that was a real s***show. Stephanie everywhere, Vince wasn’t on the show at all, a tournament that changed it’s rules without warning… are we sure Russo hasn’t gone back to the WWF while I was out of the loop? I can’t imagine fans, or TNN, being all that pleased with how this episode went off. If this is what they’re calling “top notch programming” then getting back to the top may not be as hard as I was thinking.

WWF Jakked was taped before Raw and aired on 1/6/01.
Raw/SD Recap: The McMahons conspire to put Steve Austin IN the World title match? (B)
K-Kwik defeated Essa Rios (C-)
D’Lo Brown defeated Grandmaster Sexay after Tiger Ali interfered on D’Lo’s behalf (C-)
Scotty Too Hotty defeated Chaz when Grandmaster Sexay stopped D’Lo from interfering (D+)
Too Cool dance for the crowd (B-)
Raw Rating: C+
Jakked Rating: C

I'm probably not going to have Eric recap WWF shows too often. But with no Nitro to book on that evening - I purposely didn't book one for the first of January, because WCW didn't have a Nitro until 1/8 - I felt like I wanted to get something posted. So consider this as a backstory post that I actually booked. It helps to lead into the things that are going on in the "big two", and you can follow along on things as Eric is re-learning what is happening. I would assume that he would have kept up with WWF and WCW after he was cut loose from running WCW in 2000, but it fits my narrative better that he didn't. This show, along with Thunder and SmackDown, I booked basically minute-for-minute with what happened on the show.

I have first week of shows done, so I am at the point where Eric would be taking over WCW. So expect those and then another in-character backstage post before I get to the actual Nitro. Until then, I hope you enjoyed Eric Bischoff watching Raw is War on New Years Day 2001!
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