Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Wrestling Do-Overs: The Invasion Angle, part 7 (Unforgiven 2001)

SummerSlam 2001 left the WWF reeling as The Alliance captured the top championship.....

To read this series from the beginning, click HERE

RAW After SummerSlam

RAW opens with the entire Alliance assembled in and around the ring.  Bischoff has the mic and he's standing next to Hogan, who's got the WWF Title around his waist.  "I told you!  I told all of you!  I told you at SummerSlam this man, the wrestling god, the Immortal Hollywood Hogan, would stomp all over your little Rattlesnake and win the WWF Title!  None of you believed me, but I told you!"  Hogan holds up the belt as the crowd boos like crazy.  Hogan takes the mic.  "Last night the WCW-ECW Alliance reigned supreme, Jack!  Oh sure we had a few setbacks.  Booker T, you had a rough night, brother.  But don't worry, you're still the US Champion and soon enough you'll send Dwayne back to LA and become the..."  Booker says it with him.  "Six time! Six time! Six time! Six time! Six time! Six time! WCW Champion!"  Hogan continues, "Lance, Bubba and D-Von, Sting, RVD and Goldberg all showed those WWF hacks how it's done, and last but not least, we have a new saying around these parts: Hogan 3:16 says 'I just killed your Rattlesnake.'"  Bischoff and Hogan share an obnoxious laugh.  Bischoff takes over: "Since we pounded the crap out of your WWF roster and left your company in ruins, we're gonna take a well-deserved night off and go party like only the Alliance can.  Enjoy your second-rate wrestling show, folks!"  The Alliance exit up the ramp as the show goes to commercial.

Back from break and Vince goes into the WWF locker room and orders the whole roster out to the ringside area.  They all come out, and Vince and his top guys are in the ring.  Austin is missing.  Vince takes the mic.  "I'm gonna say this quite frankly, guys.  WCW kicked our ass last night.  They made us look stupid.  And now they're off partying while we're trying to put the pieces back together.  I'm embarrassed, for both you and myself.  Dammit, you sons of bitches, get mad!  Rock, you hit 'em where it hurts, you're the new WCW Champion!  You're our shining beacon!  Wait, where's Steve?....Why isn't Steve out here?....In the back, anyone seen Steve?..."  A cameraman backstage runs toward a commotion and suddenly on the Titantron we see Austin interrogating an arena staff member.  "Where are they stayin', ya piece of crap?  Where's Hogan's hotel??"  "I don't know, I told you!"  Austin throws him to the ground and heads for the exit.  "I'm gonna comb this whole damn city for those pieces of trash!"  Vince yells after Austin, "No Steve, this isn't the right way!"  Austin ignores him and leaves the building, dragging a cameraman with him as we go to break.
After commercials we get some midcard WWF action, as the JR informs us that Vince and a crew of WWF stars went after Austin and they'll keep us updated.

Throughout the show we cut away to Austin going into hotels and bars around the city and attacking various low-level Alliance members.  After successfully ambushing Palumbo & O'Haire at a strip club, Rhyno, Raven and Taz at a dive bar, wherein Rhyno accidentally spears Taz through a wall before Austin stuns Raven, he finds Tommy Dreamer at a hotel lounge, drags him off a bar stool and pummels him.  "Where are your friends, ya son of a bitch?!"  Austin smashes a glass over Dreamer's head and Dreamer says "Thank you sir, may I have another?"  "Oh you're gonna get another, ya dumb bastard!"  Austin throws him over the bar, climbs up, and dives behind it.  From behind the bar Dreamer yelps, "Stop! STOOOPPP! Heyman's staying at the Hilton!"  Austin leaves the bar as we go to commercial.

Later in the show Christian wins a match against Matt Hardy, but Edge comes out to confront him about his attack the night before.  "Why'd you do that, Christian?  We're brothers, why did you do that?"  Christian slides out of the ring and walks away.  Edge catches up and spins him around.  Christian sucker punches him and knocks him down before heading up the ramp.

We catch up with Austin and he's got Paul Heyman in a chokehold.  Heyman tells him where Hogan and Bischoff are staying.

The main event is The Rock vs. Kurt Angle in a non-title match.  They have a strong 15-minute bout, with Angle nearly tapping Rock with an ankle lock.  Rock makes it to the ropes and Angle pulls him back to the middle.  Rock kicks him off, Angle bounces off the ropes, Rock catches a spinebuster and sets up the People's Elbow.  Angle moves out of the way but Rock is ready for it and hits a lightning-fast Rock Bottom for the win.  Rock cuts a promo about the WWF always having a beacon of hope, no matter how dark things appear to be.  "Those WCW has-beens can crow all they want about winning a battle or two, but The Rock guaran-damn-tees that when this is all over it'll be the WWF kickin' The Alliance's ass all over town, IF YA SMEEELLLL...WHAT THE cookin'."

We cut back to Austin dragging the cameraman down a hotel hallway and knocking on a door.  Bischoff's voice from the other side asks who it is.  Austin prods the cameraman to answer "room service..."  Bischoff chains and opens the door and Austin kicks it in, knocks Bischoff down and dives on Hogan as Flair, Booker, DDP, Van Dam and others try to pull him off.  For a few moments Austin is singlehandedly beating up everyone, but the numbers catch up and the Alliance guys get the upper hand.  They take turns beating him up.  Suddenly Vince, Triple H, Jericho, Big Show and Kane burst in and a full brawl breaks out in the hotel room.  Glasses break, furniture is crushed, Goldberg spears Triple H through an entertainment center, knocking them both out.  Chaos erupts as RAW goes off the air. 

Unforgiven Build

Vince opens Smackdown with a promo about The Alliance forcing him to really get his hands dirty.  "Bischoff, you backed Steve into a corner and you backed me into a corner.  Steve and I may not get along, but one thing we have in common is that if you back us into a corner we aren't responsible for what happens!  The Alliance may hold most of our championships for now, but I'm the one who controls them!  So at Unforgiven there will be a rematch for the WWF Championship, Hollywood Hogan vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin!  But don't you worry, your crooked official Nick Patrick is hereby fired and won't be allowed within a hundred yards of the building.  No, this match will have a special referee, a man I know I can trust: your American hero, Kurt Angle!"  The announcers mention that both Triple H and Goldberg are out of action due to injuries sustained in the hotel room brawl.

Vince also announces Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Tajiri as the main event, for a shot at Rob Van Dam's I-C Title.  Also on the show, Kane and Big Show defeat Palumbo & O'Haire to earn a shot at the Dudleyz for the unified belts, and Test beats Mike Awesome and is named Lance Storm's next challenger.

Eric Bischoff and Booker T have a segment where they announce Booker is cashing in his rematch against The Rock for Unforgiven.

During the 4-Way main event, Edge tries to work with Christian, but Christian repeatedly hits him.  Edge refuses to hit back.  Jericho and Tajiri take advantage on numerous occasions and dump them both out.  Late in the match Edge counters a Jericho lionsault and spears him.  Edge covers but Christian pulls him off and lays him out with Unprettier.  Tajiri hits a sliding dropkick on Christian and pins Edge to win the title shot.  Post-match Edge recovers and confronts Christian again.  Christian spits on him.  Edge has had enough and fights back, and the two have a pull-apart brawl to end the show.

The build continues to Unforgiven, with Chris Jericho and Rhyno developing a feud, and Perry Saturn getting into a backstage brawl with Raven, leading to the announcement of a hardcore match.  We get multiple segments with Alliance members approaching Kurt Angle with favors and bribes to get him to screw Austin at Unforgiven.  Angle politely declines every time.  In one segment Austin promises Angle that if he screws him it will be the last thing he ever does.  Angle assures him he will be a fair official.

Over the next two weeks Edge calls out Christian to try and resolve their brotherly spat, but Christian keeps no-showing.  Finally Edge asks if a match would settle it.  Christian comes out and says he's tired of being Edge's number-two.  He's the real star of the Edge & Christian team but he gets treated like the sidekick.  When they won the WCW Tag Titles Edge didn't seem to care, all he cared about was his stupid King of the Ring win.  "Well now it's my time, and I'm going to beat you at Unforgiven and prove I should've been the King all along!"


The final Unforgiven card is:

Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Steve Austin - WWF Title/Kurt Angle is referee
The Rock (c) vs. Booker T - WCW Title
Edge vs. Christian
Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Tajiri - I-C Title
Dudley Boyz (c) vs. Kane & Big Show - Unified Tag Titles
Rhyno vs. Chris Jericho
Raven vs. Perry Saturn - Hardcore Match
Lance Storm (c) vs. Test - European Title

The show opens with Lance Storm defending the European Title against Test.  Storm outmaneuvers his larger opponent for much of the bout's running time, but late in the match Test escapes the single-leg crab and counters a clothesline with a full-nelson slam, followed by a top rope elbow to capture the European Title at 11:32.

Next up is a violent Raven-Perry Saturn hardcore brawl that spills into the backstage area.  Multiple midcarders from both sides interfere until arena security ejects them.  Raven goes for a DDT on the floor, but Saturn counters with a Northern Lights Suplex, floats over, and hits the three-handled credenza for the pin after six minutes.

The WWF goes 3-0 as Jericho withstands Rhyno's power attack, kicking out of two Gores.  Rhyno leans a table against the security railing, sets Jericho up and goes for the Gore but Jericho moves, leaving Rhyno to crash through the table.  Jericho tosses Rhyno in the ring and hits a pair of Lionsaults for the win at 12:40.

The Dudleyz defend the Unified Tag Team Titles against Kane and Big Show (replacing the MIA Undertaker), in a hard-hitting brawl.  After ten minutes Big Show goes for a chokeslam on both Dudleys but the referee, distracted by Stacy Kiebler, misses Bubba and D-Von hitting simultaneous low blows.  Kane runs in and chokeslams them both, but the now-attentive referee forces him out.  The Dudleys recover long enough to hit an impressive 3-D on Big Show to retain.

Rob Van Dam and Tajiri have a blazing 13-minute Intercontinental Title match, with furious back-and-forth action.  Tajiri hits a corner springboard elbow, locks in the tarantula hold (letting go before the 5-count), and scales the ropes but RVD counters his dropkick attempt with his own dropkick.  RVD hits Rolling Thunder followed by a 5-Star Frog Splash to retain.

Edge goes into his match with Christian with a palpable sense of reluctance.  Christian repeatedly goads him to fight, and after taking multiple slaps to the face, Edge tackles Christian and pounds him.  They roll to the outside, cool off, and finally get back into the ring and have a heated wrestling match.  After 16 crisply worked minutes, Christian goes for Unprettier, Edge pushes him into the corner, Christian turns around, and Edge charges with a spear.  Christian moves, Edge hits the buckle, and Christian flattens him with Unprettier for the clean win.  Post-match Christian stands over a groggy Edge and gloats.  "I am the real King of the Ring!"

The Rock and Booker T (accompanied by Eric Bischoff) have a similar match to the first, with both guys wrestling more aggressively than before.  Like the first match, both men kick out of their respective Rock Bottom/Book End finishes.  Booker counters a spinebuster with a DDT and hits a People's Elbow but Rock kicks out.  Rock fires back with an Axe Kick for a two-count.  Rock goes for a Sharpshooter but Booker small packages him and holds onto the bottom rope to win back the WCW Title at 22:15.  Rock is stunned, Booker and Bischoff celebrate, doing the "Six time" catchphrase.

In the main event, Steve Austin goes full bore after Hogan, chasing him around the ring, hitting Thesz Press after Thesz Press and pummeling him.  Special referee Kurt Angle repeatedly has to physically pull Austin off to keep from disqualifying him.  "I'm just doin' my job Steve.  Stick to the rules!"  Hogan makes a comeback after a thumb to the eye, overpowering Austin with repeated punches, bodyslams and vertical suplexes.  At the fifteen-minute mark Hogan whips Austin to the ropes and lifts the big boot, but Austin catches it, spins Hogan around, kicks him and hits the Stunner.  Hogan bounces to his feet and falls into Angle, knocking them both down.  Austin drags Hogan to the middle and covers him but Angle is dazed.  Austin goes to wake him up.  Suddenly Christian runs in and hits Unprettier out of nowhere, and pulls Hogan on top of Austin.  Angle shakes off the cobwebs, then in disbelief, makes a very deliberate three-count.  Hogan retains.  Angle sells guilt as the show fades to black.

Continued in part 8.....

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