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Classic Pay Per View - SummerSlam 2001

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SummerSlam 2001 was the first PPV of the whole new era of the WWF (Ahhhh, good old WWF). It came right on the heels of the dawning of the Alliance storyline that seemed to split people down the middle. Alot of people were negative, and I can see there point, but Vinnie Mac had no obligation to "big up" WcW, but thats for another blog.

SummerSlam 2001 was a solid PPV. For all that the InVasion storyline seems to rub people up the wrong way, I can attest to enjoying every PPV it produced.

Match 1
Edge v Lance Storm


A groundbreaking night for Edge as he won his first Intercontinental title. And boy, did the title suit him. After Benoit and Jericho outgrew the title it had been thrown around a few times over the preceeding few months to some unsuitable candidates.

Triple H won it twice, and although it was cool to see someone like Triple H take the title seriously again this was only done for storyline purposes. It was thrilling to see Jeff Hardy win it, but that was only again for storyline purposes. Kane had held it until he lost it to Albert of all people, and then to Lance Storm, who although technically sound only got it for storyline purposes.

Edge though, was made for the intercontinental title at that time. The title belonged to a true up-and-comer that everyone could get behind.
As decent a match as you will see for an opener, this was Edge's moment. He had the whole jealousy angle going with Christian who appeared to nearly cost him the match at one point, but Edge prevailed. Edge would go on to reach legendary heights while Lance Storm would never hold a singles title again, at least in the biggest company in the world.

winner: Edge
3 Stars

Match 2
APA & Spike Dudley v Dudley Boyz & Test


I have read reviews that seem harsh on this match, but it is what it is. It was announced late but more than belonged on the show.

Spike Dudley had the sympathy of the fans since debuting (though it was not long until people got tired of the gimmick/or he was held down), The APA were dependable in what this kind of match was, a big fucking brawl.

The Dudley Boyz, well what can you say. Face or heel, I was always excited to see the Dudleyz. But the big draw of this match was yes, Test. Test was the first to follow Steve Austin and defect to the Alliance after wrongfully being beat to a pulp by WWF guys. Test really ran with this heel turn and management were fully behind him. He became a major persona in the Alliance era, no doubt the breakthrough star of the whole thing. It still perplexes me into how it all panned out for him the way it did. He had the look, great music and good in ring skills for a big man. Also on that note, RIP Andrew Martin.

This ran about 6 or 7 minutes and was really a big brawl. Very fast paced, great crowd reaction, Test lauched Spike from the ring through a table outside, which was quickly followed up by a Clothesline from Hell and then BAM! Shane O'Mac with one of his special chairshots and Test grabbed the 1-2-3.

Winners; Dudley Boyz & Test
3 stars

Match 3
X Pac v Tajiri - Unification of the Cruiserweight and Light Heavyweight Title


The end of the "heralded" light heavyweight title. Out of all the years that it had been around, X Pac was the only guy who could really make it something.

X Pac had long perfected his gimmick as an asshole, and fans just didn't like him. It shows how much people REALLY loved Kane back in the day, X Pac never recovered, nor did they ever try and turn him face again. During this time any WWF guy against an alliance guy would be cheered, but no matter who X Pac faced he would be booed outta the building lol.

Like many of the final ECW exodus, Tajiri was over right away in WWF. For months he was the funny sidekick of Commissioner Regal, but once he got in the ring he was a whole different animal. Innovative with his submissions (Tarantula was a huge move at first, though fizzled out as it was pointless because he would be DQ'ed) and with deadly kicks, Red and Green mist and a stereotypical Japanese gimmick he was truly over.

A good match which the crowd paid attention to, with a lot of spots and decent reversals, X Pac eventually got the dirty win after a distraction by the future A-Train.

Winner and New Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion: X Pac
4 Stars

Match 4
Rhyno v Chris Jericho




To say Rhyno was my favourite superstar in 2001 would be a big understatement. I had heard of him in ECW as the very last champion but I had no idea who he was. When he debuted, I became a mark right away. Rhyno was getting more over by the month with fans and had a great reputation. It's a shame that he got injured when he did in October, he was out for over a year, it completely halted the unbelievable momentum he just kept on gathering and by the time he returned he was nearly forgotten about.

This was spurred on by the restart of the Jericho-Stephanie feud in August 2001. Rhyno decided to make a name for himself and be a player in the alliance by GOREing him through the stage. I read a blog by Crippler the other day where he put over how good Heyman was at putting people over. He never mentioned how he put over Rhyno. He was huge for Rhyno during the Alliance, putting over the GORE!GORE!GORE!!!! as a major move.

A fun mid card match, despite some heelish manager tactics by Sexy Steph (At the height of her massive jugs era) Jericho got the win with the walls and the crowd were happy with that.

Winner: Chris Jericho
3 Stars

Match 5
Jeff Hardy v Rob Van dam - Ladder Match for the Hardcore Title


Time for the fans to get blown away eh? These two collided at the InVasion PPV one month before and completely stole the show. This was the anticipated rematch, and involving Jeff Hardy with a ladder on a big PPV was a move WWf always founf hard to resist. Throw the white hot RVD in there as well and gold was expected.

RVD came into WWF in July as an extra in the InVasion angle but was the breakthrough superstar of the entire Alliance storyline. Fans knew he was the whole F'N show and he was the very first guy to legitimise the hardcore title.

This was supposed to be a hardcore ladder match, but in reality it was onlya ladder that was used. No harm, it was an excellent ladder match with some breathtaking spots.

Winner and new hardcore champion: Rob Van Dam

5 Stars

Match 6
Undertaker & Kane v DDP & Kanyon


It's popular to say this, and I usually try and stick up for anything as I feel fans give too much stick to alot of storylines and such, but this is one storyline that was pure rotten, and this match was absolutely brutal.
DDP got completely buried in this storyline, and although I liked his "Thats not a bad thing, thats a good thing" schtick, it was a far cry from what he had been. I don;'t know if Kanyon was ever on a show again after this either. Taker wasn't unhurt in this either, 2001 was a bad year for the Taker. He had gotten into a mid card zone after this feud and became totally bland as a face, his heel turn later in the year was much needed. And Kane, it says a lot about Kane that he can fit into any situation and be credible.

Horrible 1 sided match, bad wrestling but mercifully the end of the worst feud of 2001.

Winners and Unified Tag Champs: Undertaker & Kane

1 Star

Match 7
Stone Cold Steve Austin v Kurt Angle WWF Championship




Often in wrestling, after such a show stealer such as RVD-Hardy management will often book a match that is going to be a dud to follow it, like Taker&Kane v DDP&Kanyon, so the crowd can catch their breath and be into the matches that truly matter.

If that was the rationale behind booking such a terrible match, this title match vindicated it. This match should have been the main event, and it is what showed Angle could be the top face.

The feud was absolutely hot. Angle was the one man who stood up for everything that the WWF was about after Austin defected to the alliance.

l'll never forget the moment when Austin's music hit in this match. Him and Angle stared each other down, with Austin by the entrance way and Angle outside the ring, then walking with intent towards each other until they met and started hitting each other with right hands.

Fucking great match. Brawling in the ring, out the ring, through the crowd, Top rope moves, german suplexes, Anklelock's, blood, two prime main eventers interacting with the crowd, Jim Ross on top form as usual during an Austin match, Angle's incredible moonsault, Million Dollar dream, Stone Cold Stunner's, and of course, referee brutality.

The Alliance referee disqualified Stone Cold for referee brutality, giving it a great controversial ending that more than furthered the story. The only time I've seen a DQ finish to a title match that didn't seem to piss people off. It was that good.

As I said, should have been the main event.

Winner by Disqualification: Kurt Angle

Match 8
The Rock v Booker T for the WcW Title




There was never any doubt to me that Rock would win this bout. I don't think anyone expected Booker to retain the belt. It was more of a "coming home" reward for The Rock I guess.

Decent match, as usual with a Shane McMahon match he was trying to screw the face champion out of it the entire time, which though I felt often added to the matches it didn't really help here - Everyone knew Rock would win, and he did.

Didn't deserve to be the main event, but it was a feel good end to the PPV after having the Alliance have all the big titles for a month.

Winner and new WcW Champion: The Rock

3 Stars

Overall: Very good PPV in a year in which there were good PPV's seemingly every month.

PPV Rating: 4 out of 5

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Comments

  1. Tall's Avatar
    My problem with the Alliance angle was the WCW talent. The main WCW talent like Goldberg, Sting, Scott Steiner and the NWO were missing. It was embarrasing to have Shane McMahon on the Alliance team at SS.

    It should have been a year long rivalry culminating at WrestleMania X8 with the Hogan/Rock match. I don't know the reasons behind them not getting the best WCW talent, whether it be money or legal reasons, but it really took away from what could have been an excellent storyline. Their best wrestlers at the elimination match were Angle and Austin, two guys who were made famous by WWE. Angle, Austin, The Rock, Chris Jericho and Big Show Vs Goldberg, Hulk Hogan, Booker T, Sting and RVD. That would have been off the charts in awesomeness!
  2. The Next Big Thing's Avatar
    I don't disagree with you at all about the alliance angle, for all the conspirator theorists who believe that it was a big burial of wcw to pander to vince's massive ago, I can see their point. Truth is, the whole thing went tits up and was rushed waaaay too fast. As soon as Shane McMahon storyline bought wcw it was like some big present that Vince had to play with right away.

    If you had Shane off tv till about August and let the whole thing start to gather momentum THEN you would have had time to get hogan hall & nash as well as RVD and Booker of course, and not forgetting WOOOOOHH THE Nataaa Boy. They were all around for as long as that invasion storyline lasted, so they would have definitely been in. Both goldberg and Steiner still probably wouldn't have signed by then anyway.

    This misuse of talent like Billy Kidman is what irked me.

    Coulda' been Shoulda' been Wasn't
    Updated 12-01-2011 at 03:33 PM by The Next Big Thing

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