It only took four months but the WWF finally has a pay-per-view they can be truly proud of in last night’s SummerSlam broadcast. After putting together one of the best all-around WrestleManias ever, the WWF has laid back, enjoyed its monopoly on the televised wrestling business and coasted along in a haze of mediocrity. In doing so, they have bungled the WCW-ECW invasion angle so badly that it will go down as the greatest screw ups in the federation’s illustrious history. The critical error has cost the WWF in a big way across the board but the planning of and the execution of SummerSlam 2001 might just pull the angle out of the fire and encourage the occasional fan to give it and the WWF another look.
Even though the finishes of the main events left a lot to be desired, SummerSlam was a fine example of the caliber of entertainment the WWF is really capable of if everyone involved puts some pride and creativity into their work instead of “dogging it” because they currently have no competition to speak of. SummerSlam was a rare happening. It is not often that a pay-per-view is of such high quality that there are no wasted matches on the card. Even the very worst match — The Dudley Boys and Test against The APA and Spike Dudley — wasn’t a total write-off. With the wide-ranging talent base the WWF has to draw from now there is no excuse for them not to put on a Raw, Smackdown! or pay-per-view that features the very best they have to offer. The fans and the WWF should expect nothing less.
Returning the salvo that was launched when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defected to the WCW-ECW Alliance and took the WWF World Heavyweight Title along with him, The Rock captured the WCW World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam defeating champion Booker T, a move that is bound to fuel talks of a World Title unification down the road possibly at the next WrestleMania.
WCW President, Shane McMahon interfered often on Booker’s behalf hitting The Rock with the WCW World Heavyweight Title when the official wasn’t looking. Shane shenanigans were put on hold as The APA arrived on the scene. Running away from Faarooq, Shane walked straight into a vicious Clothesline From Hell delivered by Bradshaw. Shane was up again though pulling the official out of the ring just as The Rock drove a People’s Elbow into Booker’s chest. An enraged Rock gave Shane a Rock Bottom on the arena floor to finally put an end to his constant interruptions.
The Rock stepped back into the ring and Booker T. nailed him with an Axe Kick. Showboating, Booker T. did a Spinaroonie as The Rock popped back up springing to his feet. A shocked Booker T. was hoisted into a Rock Bottom and dropped for the three count.
While Booker T. lost his World Title, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin retained his but not without the help from Alliance referee, Nick Patrick. Challenger Kurt Angle let loose right from the get-go attacking Austin even before the bell had rung to start the match. The two men brawled on the floor back to the ring at which time the bout officially began. Angle kicked out of two Stone Cold Stunners surprising Austin. “Stone Cold” took the battle to the floor once again ramming Angle’s head into a steel ring post five or six times. His head busted open and blood flowing down his face, Angle kept up the fight belly-to-belly suplexing Austin on the floor and wrapping him into his Ankle Lock submission hold.
Realizing he couldn’t beat Austin out on the floor, Angle dragged him back to the ring. Angle’s moonsault scored him a two count. Austin reached into his bag of tricks and put Angle in his Million Dollar Dream – Cobra Clutch hold. Angle raised his hand into the air as it was about to be dropped for a third time. Angle kicked out of another Stone Cold Stunner and Austin did the same after an Angle Slam.
The match itself was a grand piece of ring work and storytelling until Austin started taking out the officials. He went through about three or four WWF refs then Alliance official Nick Patrick showed up. Angle had Slammed Austin once again and clearly had him beat. Patrick called for the bell and disqualified “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for abusing the officials. Angle was declared the winner but because Austin was disqualified he retained the WWF World Heavyweight Title. Angle got his revenge by punching out Patrick and putting him in the Ankle Lock.
The next WWF pay-per-view is Unforgiven on September 23rd.
WWF SummerSlam 2001 Results
Lance Storm (champion) Vs Edge (challenger) (WWF Intercontinental Title Match)
- What a great opener! Fluid, crisp back and forth action from Edge and Storm really got the crowd all jazzed up for the remainder of the card. As Edge was announced a contingent of WWF wrestlers was shown in the back preparing to watch the match. Christian shouted to the others….That’s my bro! Christian interferes at 10:35 spearing Edge by mistake as Storm steps out of the way. As Storm worries about Christian and the ref, Edge gets the pinfall.
- Winner: …and new WWF Intercontinental Champion…Edge at 11 minutes and 16 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10.
- Test and The Dudley Boys cut a promo. Test says the WWF turned his back on him.
- Chris Jericho chats about his match against Rhyno later tonight. He says Stephanie has the home field advantage because they are in Silicon Valley. Too funny that!
The APA, Spike Dudley Versus The Dudley Boys, Test
- Rock ’em – sock ’em encounter that was better then you thought it might be. Poor Spike is thrown over the top rope and through a table. Shane McMahon dives into the ring and brains Bradshaw with a steel chair. Test pins Bradshaw.
- Winners: The Dudley Boys, Test at 7 minutes and 23 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- Edge is congratulated by WWF stars for his win. Christian is more happy about his match against Matt Hardy on Raw tomorrow. Christian receives a call on his cell phone. It is Grandma wanting to chat with Edge. Edge thanks Grandma for her kind words. When he hands the phone back to Christian, he tries to share his news about Raw but she has already hung up.
- Shawn Stasiak talks with Debra asking where Steve Austin is. He thinks that he has put forth a poor effort so far because of his wrestling trunks and wants Austin’s opinion. Debra berates Stasiak. She says with the title defence coming up, Austin has more important things on his mind. She sends Stasiak off to kick some butt. So begins an amusing running gag throughout SummerSlam.
Tajiri (WWF Light Heavyweight Champion) Versus X-Pac (WCW Cruiserweight Champion) (Title For Title Match)
- It is announced by Jim Ross that Direct TV won’t be carrying WWF pay-per-views following tonight’s SummerSlam broadcast. That’s got to be a big blow to the federation. He doesn’t give any explanation as to why.
- More rip-roaring action. Great spot has X-Pac miss his Bronco Buster, Tajiri hanging him on the Tree Of Woe and doing his sliding buzz saw kick deal. Tremendous! Albert comes down to the ring and climbs onto the ring apron. Tajiri spits some red mist into his eyes. When Tajiri turns around he falls victim to the X-Factor.
- Winner: …and new WWF Light-Heavyweight Champion…X-Pac at 7 minutes and 31 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
- Next stop…the WWF New York interview which isn’t good news for anyone who has been picked to do it. This time around it is the unfortunate task of Saturn. He blithers on about his missing mop. Whatever.
- Steph gives Rhyno a pep talk. Rhyno says he will finish Jericho off.
Chris Jericho Versus Rhyno
- Not a good night for Y2J. He messes up two big moves as he slips off the ropes twice. Jericho leaps off the top rope to the floor where Rhyno is waiting Goring him in mid-air. Steph distracts the ref. Jericho pushes the ref out of the way and kisses Steph. Rhyno kicks out of Jericho’s Lionsault. Jericho is put in the Walls Of Jericho by Rhyno. Jericho reaches the ropes to break the hold. Rhyno misses another Gore and Jericho rolls him into the Walls. Rhyno taps out. Steph has a hissy fit and leave Rhyno behind as she heads to the back in a huff.
- Winner: Chris Jericho at 12 minutes and 33 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Regal confers with The Rock on his status to wrestle tonight. Stasiak comes charging in. The Rock and Regal side-step him. Stasiak crashes into a wall. In his promo with Regal, The Rock refers to himself 13 times.
Rob Van Dam (challenger) Versus Jeff Hardy (champion) (WWF Hardcore Title Match)
- Not as good as it looked on paper but still quite entertaining. Lots of tricks with the ladder but not many big suicidal bumps by either man. RVD and Hardy fight at the top of the ladder, RVD grabs the belt and basically falls off the ladder with it to claim the Hardcore Title.
- Winner: …and new WWF Hardcore Champion…Rob Van Dam at 16 minutes and 41 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
- Shane presents Booker with two bookends he had made from parts of the table Booker slammed The Rock into. Booker is touched. He dedicates the title match to Shane. Shane is touched.
DDP, Kanyon (WWF Tag Team Champions) Versus The Undertaker, Kane (WCW Tag Team Champions) (Steel Cage Match)
- Like the previous match, not too bad but not great either. Kanyon is about to escape the cage. Kane is stopping him as he climbs. Taker tells Kane to let him leave. Kane does. Kanyon flees. DDP is taken apart by Kane and Undertaker. Taker dedicates a Last Ride on DDP to his wife. Taker pins DDP winning the WWF Tag Team belts for him and Kane.
- Winners: …and new WWF World Tag Team Champions…Kane and The Undertaker at 10 minutes and 9 seconds .
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- The Rock is visiting with a federation doctor. He tells the doc he is fine to wrestle. Stasiak comes charging in again. He misses again and goes splat against a wall. The WWF announces that their new show Excess begins this Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. on TNN. HHH will be a special guest host.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (champion) Versus Kurt Angle (challenger) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …via disqualifaction at 22 minutes and 33 seconds, Kurt Angle.
- Match Rating: 9 / 10.
The Rock (challenger) Versus Booker T. (WCW World Heavyweight Champion)
- Winner: … and new WCW World Heavyweight Champion…The Rock at 15 minutes and 20 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 10 / 10.