It’s the year of the Alliance as Booker T squares off against The Rock for the WCW Gold and Stone Cold takes on Kurt Angle for the WWF Strap. All this and more in this edition of The Chairshot Classic.
The date is August 19, 2001 and we are fresh off the heals of Vince McMahon’s acquisition of WCW (March 23, 2001) and ECW filing for bankruptcy (April 1, 2001). These event lead to the Invasion angle that was a big part of this SummerSlam. (You can find more on the InVasion PPV here.) The arena that will be our host for the evening in the Compaq Center in San Jose, California and we are joined by 15,293 eager fans. There is another 565,000 tuning in at home on PPV. This was almost a less significant number due to an ongoing feud with DirecTV at the time over revenue splits. The RAW Neilsen ratings for the month of August were excellent and are as follows: Aug.6-5.4, Aug.13-5.2, Aug.20-5.2, Aug.27-4.8. As always these were gathered from www.2xzone.com
The show opens with the music video for the theme song, “Bodies” by Drowning Pool, cut with clips of the current WWF roster. This was pretty well put together but as I’ve been re-watching a lot of these lately this one isn’t as good as some of the others. Then again, I’m sure the fifteen year old me enjoyed it.
The purple and green stage pyro is blasting off as we enter the Compaq Center. The fans are on their feet and have the usual sea of signs. Jim Ross tells us, “The battle for sports supremacy continues and rages on here tonight”. He continues to tell us the show is sold-out before he introduces us to his colleague for this evening, Paul Heyman. They waste no time introducing the first match and the IC Title bout is set to begin.
The Intercontinental Champion, Lance Storm enters first and he is defending the Alliance. Lance takes to the mic when he hit the ring and the fans give him some “BOOS” for this. He starts to speak about how he doesn’t want any shenanigans tonight but he is cut off by Edge’s theme music. When the fans hear this they come to life with excitement. Both these men spent some time training with the Hart Family, Edge with Bret and Lance more with Stu in The Dungeon. We star with the usual collar and elbow lock that slowly transitions into them exchanging some hammer locks. Storm takes a huge flapjack drop, that he no-sells. But when he bounces back to his feet, Edge is there in waiting to clothesline him from the ring. This receives a nice pop. After Edge returns him to the ring and continues to have the momentum. He gets airborne for a huge crossbody that leads to the first false finish, a two count. Storm finally goes on the offensive when he drops Edge on his midsection, over the top rope. Storm sends him off the apron next and into the security wall. He returns Edge to the ring and slaps him a few times while talking trash. He hits a lifting knee and tries to cover but Edge is quick to kick out at the count of one.
The pair exchange some punches but Lance is soon trying to cover again, this time after a face-first suplex. But again only a two. The crowd starts to rally for Edge as Storm delivers some kicks to the head. The rally begins with some punches to Storm’s midsection that allow Edge regain his footing. After an Irish whip Edge attempts a dropkick but Storm grabs the ropes and this leaves Edge landing flat on his back. Edge is quick with an inside cradle, but again only a two. The camera cuts to the back where members of “Team WWF” are cheering on Edge. Back in the ring Storm maintains momentum with some really boring offense. Edge attempts to counter into a tornado DDT but Storm catches him and hits a Somoa drop. Edge, again, manages to get the shoulder up. Storm goes to leap off the top rope and Edge uses Storm’s own momentum to flow into a scoopslam. This leaves both men laying on the mat as the ref begins his count. They return to their feet at the count of eight and Edge is now on the attack. After some right hands, he levels Storm with a pair of clotheslines. After an enziguri that draws a big pop, Edge goes for a cover but again only a two. Edge reverses an attempted hurricanrana next into a sit-down powerbomb and this draws an even bigger pop from the crowd. When Edge come off the rope Storm hits the drop-toe hold and transitions it into his finisher, the single-leg Boston crab. The crowd is on their feet as Edge struggles to find the ropes. He eventually makes it to them and this leads to Edge applying a single-leg crab of his own. Storms pulls the official into Edge to break the hold and incapacitate the official. This is when we see Edge’s kayfabe brother, Christian, make a run-in. Edge has said in his book that he went over the booker’s head to Vince to have the Run-in put in the match. He attempts to spear Lance Storm but he avoids the maneuver and instead Edge gets it. Storm then lays Christian out with a nice superkick and the crowd is unsure what they just witnessed. Storm goes for the pin but Edge is still kicking out. Storm goes to superkick Edge next but he catches storms foot and hits a lifting DDT. Edge follows it with a cover and this time it works. Edge get the three count and is the new Intercontinental Champion. This gives the WWF the first win of the night. Christian joins him in the ring after to give him the title and to help celebrate. Edge is hesitant at first but he soon joins in. The match overall didn’t pace well and I thought the only highlight came from Edge. This match has the potential to be skipped over. Match Time: 11:16
Three of the competitors for the six man tag match are walking through the back when they are stopped by Michael Cole. He asks Test and The Dudley Boyz “why have you turned your backs on the WWF?” Test tells Cole that it was the WWF that turned its back on them. Test then compliments his boss, Shane ‘O’ Mac, and says “He knows who the cream of the crop really is”. This is a nice homage to The Macho Man here, I’d like to think.
Chris Jericho is in the back next and he is being questioned about his feud with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and his upcoming match with Rhyno. Someone that, Lillian Garcia says, Jericho has never beat. He says “There is a first time for everything and everyone remembers their first time.” He uses this as an opportunity to mention Stephanie’s “first time” with “The football captain, the swim captain, the captain of the basketball team and even Olaf, the foreign exchange student.” He then mentions how she has the home field advantage here because “We are in Silicon Valley.” This is just classic Jericho here and we can see why he is still a master of the profession all these years later.
Spike Dudley is entering when we are back in the arena and he is joined by Molly Holly. The crowd is on their feet when Faarooq and Bradshaw, or The APA, enter next and they are Spike’s partners for this six-man tag. These three will be fighting under the WWF moniker. The first member of team Alliance, Test, enters next and he receives zero reception from the crowd. Test stops and waits for his partners, D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley, before he heads to the ring. Once the bell sounds we get Faarooq and Bubba in the ring first. Bubba unloads some punches and he is quick to tag D-Von in who continues the beating of Faarooq. Faarooq bounces back up from a pair of clotheslines but a spinning back elbow keeps him down for a moment. Test comes in next and delivers some right hands until Faarooq lands an elbow that allows him to tag Bradshaw. They hit Test with a double shoulder block before Faarooq exits the ring. Test takes a beating until he is able to counter into a back drop that enables him to put Bradshaw in the corner and make a tag. D-Von comes in and the boys hold Bradshaw so he can unload some punches. When D-Von tries to back drop Bradshaw next he gets a clubbing chop to the back instead. Next Bradshaw drives his head to the mat with a DDT that he follows with a cover. But D-Von manages to kick-out.
Spike gets to make his appearance next and is quick to try a pair of inside cradles that D-Von is just as quick to kick out of. Bubba takes it upon himself to slow Spike’s momentum and flapjack him onto the top rope. Bubba stays in the ring, even though no tag was made, and atomic drops Spike onto the top turnbuckle. He then yanks him to the mat by his hair so fast its hard to fathom how he didn’t get whiplash. Bubba then tags Test in who tries to drop an elbow that Spike avoids. This allows the little guy to start unloading some punches and re-enter the fight. Spike then tries to hit a tornado DDT but Test goes nowhere and slams him right to the mat. The crowd explodes before we get the shot of The Dudleyz setting some tables up outside the ring. JR says “This isn’t a tables match” to which Heyman replies “It doesn’t need to be, its a Dudley match”. Test attempts to press slam Spike out of the ring next but a well timed eye-rake saves him the painful ring exit. Both Dudleyz come in now and send Spike sky-high with a pancake drop. Bubba goes for the cover but Spike is still kicking out. D-Von tags in next and tries to come off the second rope onto Spike. He manages to move and the crowd is popping for the hot tag as they chant “APA”. Bradshaw and Test both come in off tags and Bradshaw sends him “post-to-post”, meeting him with clotheslines both times. D-Von comes in but Bradshaw lays him out with a big boot. Bubba is in next, but so is Faarooq, and The APA deliver a double spinebuster on Bubba that looks just brutal. Bradshaw delivers a huge powerbomb onto D-Von next but the cover is broken up when Bubba pulls Bradshaw from the ring by his foot. Spike comes running in to attempt his finisher, The Acid Drop, on Test but he just catches Spike and tosses him over the top rope. Of course he flies through the table on the outside, that The Dudleyz had set up earlier. Bradshaw lays Test out with a Clothesline From Hell but there is no ref to count the cover. As the ref is on the outside attending to Spike. Shane ‘O’ Mac comes from left field here to lay Bradshaw out with a chairshot and the crowd is going bonkers. Test rolls over to make the cover and the ref counts the three. The match as a whole wasn’t bad and was better than the first one on the card. My main takeaway here is how much punishment little Spike Dudley can and would take. If time is a factor though, don’t be afraid to fast-forward this match. Match Time:7:19
There is a quick clip of Edge being celebrated by Team WWF when Christian‘s phone rings and it is their grandmother. She quickly ask Christian to speak with Edge so she can congratulate him on his win. When Edge hands the phone back so Christian can talk to her but the line is dead. Another quick clip follows this one before we return to action. It’s Debra and she is joined by Meat, who is trying to learn how to win Steve Austin’s favor. Meat was named for the bulge we see in his pants and was used to show that the WWF isn’t afraid to objectify men either. He was used by the ladies in the locker room, hence making him a piece of Meat. She tells him to leave and that Steve Austin to busy preparing to defend The Alliance is his match versus Kurt Angle. Meat A.K.A. Shawn Stasiak is the son of former WWWF Champion Stan Stasiak. He has since retired from wrestling and is now employed as a chiropractor.