20 YEARS AGO – WWF RAW REPORT (1-22-01): Triple H and Stephanie McMahon team up, The Rock vows to become WWF Champion, and Austin attacks in the main event

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Triple H (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)

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
LAFAYETTE, LA.
REPORT BY JASON POWELL, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

KEY NOTES

Overall score (5.5): Just better than average.

High point: Rock & Chris Jericho vs. Big Show & Benoit was a good match.

Low point: The show was too predictable and the writers showed signs of laziness. There was no explanation as to why Steve Austin didn’t show up until the final segment.

REVIEW OF THE PROGRAM…

[Q1: 5.0]… The opening montage aired… Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show… Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walked to the ring for a promo. Triple H carried a sledge hammer with him and placed it in the corner of the ring while he talked. He complained that Steve Austin cost him the WWF Title at the pay-per-view. Triple H claimed to have beaten Angle, only to have Austin interfere. Triple H picked up the sledge hammer and vowed revenge on Austin. Angle walked onto the stage and claimed he was responsible for Triple H not winning the belt, not Austin. Angle said Triple H only wins matches via outside interference, which prompted Triple H to challenge him to a match. Angle agreed to the match, but Trish Stratus walked out to continue the segment. Trish ripped Steph and challenged her to a singles match for later in the show. Steph accepted the challenge and said she would make Trish her bitch (censored) later in the show… Backstage, Vince McMahon arrived at the building in a limo… [C]

[Q2: 5.0]… Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed Vince, who reminded viewers that he is the boss, not the wrestlers. He said he would take the two matches proposed by Triple H and Trish “under advisement,” concluding that they may happen, or they may not… (1) Test beat William Regal to win the WWF European Title at 1:22. Before the match, Regal cut a brief promo on Test, calling him “a thorn in my side.” Test dominated the entire match and finished off Regal with a top rope elbow… Backstage, Triple H told Vince that no one could take away his title match. He also accused Vince of paying too much attention to Trish. Vince took offense at the comment and reiterated that he was taking the proposed matches under consideration… [C] The announcers recapped the European Title change… A backstage shot aired of Regal sporting one of his classic facial expressions…

[Q3: 5.7]… (2) The Acolytes (w/Jackie) beat The Hardys (w/Lita) at 4:55. Before the match, Ross said that the Hardys were still upset with one another based on their eliminating each other from the Rumble match. Even before the match started, the Hardys argued over which one of them would start the match. The Hardys continued to argue throughout the match. Late in the match, Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb on Bradshaw, but Faarooq stopped him from scoring the pin. Faarooq hit the Dominator and scored a clean pin… Backstage, Triple H complained to Steph about her father. Steph tried to calm him down, but then got upset when talking about her match against Trish. Triple H told Steph to talk to ask her father whether her match would take place… [C] Backstage, Steph talked with Vince inside his office. Steph told Vince that he is “dressing hipper.” Steph lobbied for the proposed matches, but Vince was apprehensive, especially at the thought of her wrestling Trish. Vince reiterated that he would take the matches under advisement…

[Q4: 5.8]… The announcers narrated highlights of Big Show’s Royal Rumble exploits… In a segment recorded earlier in the day, Michael Cole conducted a sit-down interview with Rock. Rock admitted being disappointed about not winning the Rumble match, but also said he would congratulate Austin for getting the job done. Rock vowed to become WWF Champion regardless of who he has to beat to win the title. When Cole asked Rock what he thinks his role at WrestleMania will be, he took offense and ended the interview… A shot aired of Jericho walking backstage… [C] Outside the building, Triple H waited for Austin while clutching his sledge hammer… (3) Rock & Chris Jericho beat Big Show & Chris Benoit in 10:45. Early in the match, Big Show chokeslammed Jericho at ringside, causing Jericho to go backstage for medical treatment. Rock continued to fight the match without Jericho.

[Q5: 6.2]… Later, Jericho returned from the locker room and helped Rock. Rock hit the Rock Bottom on Benoit and scored the pin. Afterward, Big Show got angry and chokeslammed Rock and Jericho. Benoit got upset and demanded to know where Big Show was while he was being pinned. Big Show took offense, chokeslammed Benoit, and left him lying… [C] Backstage, Angle expressed his concern about the matches, but Trish told him not to worry, promising him that she would give Vince “all of the advisement he needs”… The announcers narrated PPV highlights of Chyna’s injury angle… (4) Ivory (w/Steven Richards) beat Molly Holly (w/Crash Holly) when Richards interfered. Before the match, Ivory cut a short promo on Chyna and her new book.

[Q6: 5.8]… Late in the match, Molly climbed to the top rope for a move, but Richards tripped her while the ref was arguing with Crash. Ivory took advantage of the situation and scored the pin… Highlights aired of videos sent in by hopeful participants of MTV’s “Tough Enough” show… [C] Outside the building, Triple H continued to wait for Austin to arrive… A backstage shot aired of Trish entering Vince’s office… (5) Kane beat Rikishi by DQ when Haku interfered at 2:05. Before the match, Ross put over Kane’s Rumble performance, calling it the most impressive he’s witnessed during his eight years with the WWF. Late in the match, Kane chokeslammed Rikishi and went for a cover. Haku ran out but must have been late since Rikishi had to kick out of Kane’s finisher. Once in the ring, Haku attacked Kane as the announcers explained that he and Rikishi are both “Islanders.” Afterward, Undertaker ran in and saved Kane… A shot aired of the Dudleys walking backstage… [C]

[Q7: 5.7]… Backstage, Kelly interviewed Rikishi, who challenged Undertaker to a no holds barred match at Smackdown… A backstage camera positioned in front of Vince’s office picked up Trish saying: “Oh, that’s nice. That’s really nice.” At ringside, the announcers wondered what was going on inside the office… The announcers hyped Drew Carey’s pay-per-view special and narrated highlights of his Rumble appearance… (6) Lo Down beat The Dudleys by DQ at 2:39. Tiger Ali Singh sat in on commentary. Late in the match, the ref DQ’d the Dudleys for using one of their tag belts as a weapon. Afterward, Tiger got excited, thinking his team had just won the WWF Tag Titles. He entered the ring to celebrate, but the Dudleys ended up putting him through a table… Backstage, Trish started to exit Vince’s locker room, but he stopped her and reminded her to take her hat with her. On commentary, the announcers noted that Trish’s hair appeared to be messed up… [C] Backstage, Cole said that Vince would be joining him to make an announcement regarding the two main events… (7) Raven beat Al Snow at 3:40 to regain the WWF Hardcore Title. Early in the match, both men fought their way backstage and into the catering area where Snow threw Raven face first into a cake.

[Q8: 5.6]… Eventually, the men fought their way outside the building. Snow beat Raven with a weapon and then covered him for a pin attempt. The ref counted to two, but didn’t count to three for some unknown reason. Snow instructed the ref to count, so he restarted and made the three count, giving Snow the win. Afterward, a woman dressed in black appeared out of nowhere and helped Raven regain the title by pinning Snow. The woman helped Raven into a car and then drove it away… Backstage, Vince announced that the main event would be a mixed tag match between Angle & Trish vs. Triple H & Steph… [C] In the parking lot, Steph informed Triple H of the mixed tag news… At WWF N.Y., K-Kwik and Too Cool performed “Rowdy”… [C] (8) Triple H & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley beat Kurt Angle & Trish Stratus at 5:37.

[Q9: 5.7]… Late in the match, Trish bulldogged Steph and went for a cover, but Triple H broke up the pin. Triple H gave Trish the Pedigree and placed Steph on top of her for the win. Afterward, Austin ran in and attacked Triple H from behind. Austin slammed a few beers while Triple H lay on the mat to close the show…

Ratings: 5.6 overall… 5.4 first hour… 5.8 second hour… 10 week avg.=5.0… 5 week avg.=4.8…


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RAW REPORT: 1/18 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Orton’s response to fireball, Asuka vs. Bliss, Goldberg on The Dirt Sheet

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