20 YEARS AGO – WWF RAW REPORT (1-1-01): Vince flirts with Trish Stratus as Stephanie is on the phone with him, Austin’s New Year’s Resolution, Jericho calls segment “Steph is Naked,” Rock in action

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH COLUMNIST (@zheydorntorch)

The Rock (art credit Travis Beaven)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The following WWE Monday Night Raw report was originally published in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter 2o years ago this week. PWTorch VIP membership gives you access to over 1,600 back issues of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter dating back to the 1980s. Become a VIP member by CLICKING HERE.


WWF MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT
AIRED JANUARY 1, 2001
TAPED DECEMBER 19, 2000
AUSTIN,TEXAS
REPORT BY JASON POWELL, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

KEY NOTES…

•Overall score (7.0): A strong show that featured most of the top names.

•High point: It would have been understandable if the WWF had gone through the motions with this show since it was taped and aired on a holiday. Instead, the WWF delivered three solid main event caliber matches and built up to the live Raw.

•Low point: The Stephanie McMahon–Helmsley vs. Steve Austin feud was given too much airtime. The feud is coming off like the WWF’s latest sorry attempt to recreate the excitement of Austin vs. Vince McMahon.

•Other Notes: Listening to Vince McMahon flirt with Trish Stratus on speaker phone while Steph stood by was hilarious. It appears that this will be a major storyline heading into the New Year… The announcers didn’t mention Triple H during the show… It’s hard to tell if Tazz is supposed to be a babyface or a heel. On MTV Heat, Tazz acts like a heel announcer. However, when he wrestled Raven, he played into the strong babyface pop that the crowd gave him…

REVIEW OF THE PROGRAM…

[Q1]

Highlights aired from UPN Smackdown… Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show and hyped Undertaker vs. Rikishi and Rock vs. Kane as the show’s two main events. They announced that the winners of those matches would wrestle at Smackdown. The winner of the Smackdown match will receive a WWF Title match on the Jan. 8 live Raw…

(1) Undertaker beat Rikishi in an elimination match. Before the match, Taker drove his bike to ringside. When Rikishi made his entrance, Taker drove his bike toward him and chased him to the back. Taker got off his bike and went after Rikishi, and eventually brought him back into the arena. Late in the match, Taker signaled for the Last Ride, but couldn’t lift Rikishi off his feet. Rikishi came back, but Taker caught him with a DDT and scored the pin… Backstage, Steve Austin arrived and met with Stephanie McMahon–Helmsley. Steph told him she had a special job for him. She introduced Austin to Kevin, a beer vendor. Steph told Austin he had to sell all of Kevin’s beer and hot dogs if he wanted to earn a title shot. When Steph left the room, Kevin mockingly wished Austin good luck. Austin took offense and beat up Kevin…

[Q2]

[C] Kurt Angle, Edge, and Christian arrived at the arena. Jonathan Coachman met them and informed Angle that Taker had won his match…

(2) Billy Gunn & The Acolytes (w/Jackie) beat Val Venis & Bull Buchanan & Goodfather (w/Ivory, Steven Richards). In the end, Gunn pinned Venis… Backstage, Steph talked with Austin about selling beer and hot dogs. Austin squirted mustard onto Steph, but acted as if it were an accident… [C]

[Q3]

Backstage, Steph called Vince McMahon on speaker phone and complained about Austin. Vince told her not to let Austin get to her. Trish Stratus walked into the room and exchanged warm greetings with Vince, who told Steph to book Chris Benoit vs. Test in an Intercontinental Title match. Once Vince hung up the phone, Steph chewed out Trish and told her to get out of her office… Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed the Dudleys… [C]

(3) Raven beat Tazz by pinning Crash Holly to retain the WWF Hardcore Title. Both men fought their way backstage where the Holly Cousins and Steve Blackman involved themselves in the match. Eventually, Raven hit Crash with a fire extinguisher and pinned him. Blackman attacked Raven, but Raven managed to elude him to retain the belt… [C]

[Q4]…

Austin came to the ring carrying the empty beer container. He said his New Year’s resolution is to earn a shot at the WWF Title. Austin called out Steph. Steph asked Austin who he thought he was talking to. Austin responded, “A complete bitch.” Steph questioned the validity of Austin selling all of the beer and hot dogs. Austin said he found some people who bought all of the merchandise. Meanwhile, a shot aired of the Acolytes and Jackie eating the hot dogs and drinking the beer. Austin placed the vendor tray around Steph’s neck. Steph told Austin that since he had completed his task, she decided to let him compete in the series of matches that lead to the Jan. 8 title match on Raw. She said if Austin was able to beat William Regal later in the show, he would have to beat Undertaker and the winner of Rock vs. Kane in a three–way match. Later, Austin pulled the vendor tray off of Steph, ripping her blouse off in the process. Steph stood in the ring wearing only a bra and a pair of pants. As Steph ran backstage, Austin cracked, “There’s more foam in that bra than there was in those beers”… [C]

[Q5]…

(4) Chris Jericho & The Dudleys beat Kurt Angle & Edge & Christian. Before the match, Jericho cut a promo and welcomed fans to “Steph is Naked.” He said it didn’t matter because “three–quarters of the locker room” had already seen her naked. The match had good back and forth action, but the crowd clearly wanted tables. The wrestlers teased the crowd by having several “near table” spots. In the end, the Dudleys put Edge through a table for the win… Backstage, Trish confronted Test. She told him that she had nothing to do with Albert turning on him, and offered up her setting up his Intercontinental Title match as evidence… [C]

[Q6]…

Highlights aired of William Regal leaving Steph’s office with a smile on his face…

(5) Chris Benoit beat Test (w/Trish) to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title. Before the match, highlights aired from Smackdown of Albert turning on Test. Late in the match, Test set up for a top rope elbow on Benoit, but Trish pushed him off. Benoit took advantage of the interference and scored the pin. Afterward, Test chased Trish to the stage. Albert ran out and brawled with Test until security separated them… Backstage, Regal approached Debra, telling her to cover her breasts. Regal told Debra to tell Austin that there would be a special referee for their match… [C] Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Terri sat in on commentary with the announcers for the next match…

(6) The Hardys (w/Lita) beat Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki. Before the match, Kaientai talked into a dead mic while English–speaking voices talked for them. On commentary, Malenko explained his marriage by saying his wife is married, but he isn’t.

[Q7]…

After the match, Lita teased Malenko, who walked over to her, allowing the Hardys to jump her from behind. The Hardys brawled with Malenko and Saturn while Lita attacked Terri… Brief shots aired of Rock and Kane walking backstage… [C] Highlights aired of Taker beating Rikishi in the opening match…

(7) Kane beat The Rock in an elimination match when Kurt Angle interfered. During the match, a shot aired of a shirtless Undertaker watching on a backstage monitor.

[Q8]…

Late in the match, Rock hit a Samoan drop, leaving both men winded. Kane got back to his feet first, but Rock DDT’d him. Later, Kurt Angle walked out to ringside. Kane threw Rock over the top rope to ringside. Angle hit Rock with the WWF Title belt and shoved him back inside the ring. Kane choke-slammed Rock and pinned him… [C] The announcers hyped Undertaker vs. Kane vs. the winner of Austin vs. Regal for Smackdown. They reminded viewers that the winner will challenge Angle on the Jan. 8 live Raw… Backstage, Angle ran outside the building and met up with Edge & Christian. The threesome climbed into a car and sped out of the building… Regal came to the ring and cut a promo about Austin. Regal introduced Steph as the special referee for his match…

[Q9]…

Highlights aired from a recent Royal Rumble PPV of Mick Foley appearing three times during one Rumble match…

(8) William Regal beat Steve Austin when special ref Stephanie McMahon–Helmsley helped Regal. Early in the match, Austin covered Regal for a pin, but Steph acted like she had something in her eye and couldn’t make the count. Later, Steph pulled a similar move. Austin confronted her, which led to Regal rolling him up. Steph made a fast three–count and immediately left the ring. Steph stopped on the stage and announced Regal as the winner. She also took time to point out that Austin was the loser of the match. The show closed with a shot of an angry Austin standing in the ring…


NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S RAW REPORT: 12/28 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Keith Lee vs. Sheamus with a WWE Title shot on the line, Alexa’s Playhouse with Randy Orton

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