November 3rd, 2001 – Manchester Arena in Manchester, England
I have never been a big fan of the England only Pay-Per-Views. Most of them aren't terrible, though Insurrextion from this year was bad, but they aren't ever special. The wrestlers seem to put forth minimal effort as the crowd will be hot no matter what since they get to see the action so rarely. Hopefully, this will be a bit different.
to retain the title
How often do Intercontinental Title matches get twenty minutes anymore? This is two in a row for Edge and Christian. Side note, Christian is the European Champion now. Edge starts hot but Christian takes control in the early goings. Edge turns the tide with a cross body off of the top for a near fall. A Spear from out of nowhere picks things up. We get a series of reversals which is cool due to their vast knowledge of each others moveset. I just noticed, they oddly go back to the old school steel cage here. That comes into play as Christian makes it nearly all the way over but Edge pulls his legs in and ties him up, which wouldn't work with the new cage. Edge goes over with Christian tied up and wins. Another solid match between these two, but again, not great.
A recap is shown of Kurt Angle's ridiculous heel turn as he joined the Alliance for a cup of coffee.
Chavo Guerrero and Hugh Morris (what? Your name is Hugh Morris. What? Is that funny? Is that humorous) prove how little the WWF thought of WCW originals as they are fighting over who gets to be the backstage interviewer tonight. To be fair, it's to interview the Divas so I'd prefer that job to being a jobber. They decide to enter the Divas locker room together, and run into a topless Trish Stratus, though her back is turned. She tells them to come back later.
Scotty earned some respect from me after I watched his match with Dean Malenko at Backlash 2000 while The Hurricane is a character I've always enjoyed because Shane Helms put his all into it. Not much to discuss in this match but I'm surprised it got nearly nine minutes. Hurricane grabs his cape to fly but Scotty blocks it. Hurricane attempts to steal the Worm, which Paul Heyman calls the Slug, but Scotty stops it and reverses a chokeslam attempt. Scotty ends up winning for some odd reason with the Worm. Not bad, but rather meaningless.
Trish offers Chavo and Hugh Morris (what?) an exclusive scoop but we just end up seeing Lita in her underwear getting ready. Backstage segments done right guys.
I'm a fan of the motivational speaker gimmick for DDP, it's a lot better than the stupid stalker character. He does it in real life too, so it worked much better. Show powers through the start until Page nearly botches a clothesline off the top. DDP goes for a submission for some unknown reason since its not something he does well and it fails. He does hit the Diamond Cutter though. It's only been about two and a half minutes, but Page is too hurt to cover instantly so Show kicks out. One chokeslam later and Show wins. The Alliance is 0-3 tonight so there's that.
More from Chavo and Hugh Morris (what?) as they intrude on Mighty Molly who was sporting some sweet cleavage. Molly was really underrated looks wise in her early days. She calls them peeping Toms for seeing her without her cape.
Steve Austin, Debra, Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon are sitting in an extremely dark room and discussing the night. Kurt Angle, after being a complete badass during the Alliance storyline, has reverted back to being a dweeb. He notices they're at a roundtable and makes a joke about the Knights of the Roundtable. Weird segment.
in 12:01 to retain the titles
I might be wrong, but every single title, WWF or WCW, was being held by a WWF guy here. By that I mean that none of the WCW originals who invaded have any belts. Rob Van Dam might have the Hardcore Title but that's it. This is elimination so $10 says it ends in usual Hardy/Dudley fashion. Pay up because the APA are out first. Nothing special or out of the ordinary here but solid. The Hardys and Dudleys have met so much they can have a decent match even when just going through the motions and that's what tonight was. A 3D to Matt ends it.
Vince McMahon tries to get WCW Champion Chris Jericho and The Rock on the same page for Survivor Series but they get into a brawl because Jericho can't help but smack talk Dwayne. This beef was put here to make the fans think Team WWF would fail at Survivor Series due to in-fighting but come on. Nobody believed the Alliance would win.
A warm reception greets William Regal as always in England, but in true heel fashion, he quickly turns that around by badmouthing the crowd. I have always been a fan of both guys and loved their pairing while Regal was WWF Commissioner. Brian Hebner was a WCW referee? Some nice mat wrestling to begin that Tajiri breaks with some kicks. They go outside and do some uncharacteristically sloppy work. Jim Ross says stuff about Regal growing up hard fighting grown men. Yes, he said that. Regal botches a kick with Tajiri on the ropes and these guys are disappointing me. TARANTULA gets the crowd going as they're more into hating Regal than cheering Tajiri. The Japanese Buzzsaw misses a moonsault and taps to the Regal Stretch which always looks like it hurts. Sloppy at some points but the crowd was into it at least.
My girlfriend, who watches the current product, points out that Michael Cole looks like a nerd as he interviews the United States Champion Kurt Angle. Something about Kurt Angle as US Champion just feels right. Especially during Independence Day weekend.
in 14:55 to retain the title
I will never understand why they turned Kirk Angel heel for a few weeks or why, at the end of the Alliance angle, they turned Chris Jericho heel. Interesting that Nick Patrick is the official when I just watched him “wrestle” Jericho at World War 3 1996. Jericho hits a variation of Eddie Guerrero's Three Amigos on Kirk. They block each others finishers and Jericho springboard dropkicks Angel to the outside. They brawl outside for a bit before taking it back in the ring because they're wrestlers, in a wrestling ring. Jericho nails a shoulder breaker which always looks brutal. Jericho blocks a belly to belly but gets hotshot onto the top rope and Eddie Gilbert would be proud. JR continues to rock it on commentary, saying that Kirk Angel is going commando tonight. Jericho rallies from the dreaded headlock, but ends up right back in it. Jericho reverses a German suplex into the Ankle Lock but Kirk reaches the ropes. Kirk gets the Ankle Lock but Jericho turns it into the Walls but no ending. Shortly after, Jericho wins with a rollup. At least it was a clean finish which was rare for Jericho's title runs. Really good, but wish it got just a bit more time.
The Rock belittles Michael Cole during an interview. Some of Rock's comedic stuff doesn't hold up over time. It's also weird to hear “If you smell what the Rock is cooking” and not have his theme music hit instantly.
Where the hell were my Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson changing backstage segments? I demand a refund. Screw it, these are five hot chicks. I say five because Trish is the special referee. I say it again, Stacy as a Dudley was super hot. DEM LEGS! Heyman says that he wears the same style underwear as Lita which is an awful picture. Lita and Molly would have to be the ones to salvage this but Torrie and Stacy start out. Torrie and Molly do a Boston Crab/Camel Clutch combo on Torrie, which impressed me. Not much else in this match did. You know, besides boobs. Lita wins it with a Twist of Fate despite Stacy being close enough to break the pin. Basic Divas stuff.
in 22:09 to retain the title
Here comes a rematch of a WrestleMania main event that I gave five stars to. A brawl starts us off before Austin can even get his vest off. We go outside where The Rock steals Triple H's water spitting gimmick right into Austin's face. Up to the ramp at the top and Rock suplexes Austin onto the steel. I feel like that spot used to get a much bigger reaction. Austin takes control as they get back to the ring. Austin misses a rope spot, but doesn't get affected by it and flips off the crowd which makes me laugh. Ah, the lovely “multiple pin attempts” in a row spot. Old school just the way I like it. Rock low blows Austin on the announce table and I guess there is no DQ. Back in the ring, Austin hilariously goes for his trademark elbow but bounces off the ropes three times and flips off each side of the arena. He is in rare form tonight. Rock does it right back to Austin which is fun. Referee goes down later and Austin and Rock trade potential wins until Kirk Angel and Jericho get involved. Angel hits Rocky in the back, Jericho hits Angel and Rock only sees Jericho with the chair. They brawl and Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Austin, but there's no referee. Kirk gets involved again but gets the smackdown laid on him. Rock goes for the People's Elbow but Angel trips him and hits him with the belt leading to a Stunner and the win. Their worst match, but still highly entertaining.
Overall: A slightly above average show. Much better than the other UK Pay-Per-View this year, Insurrextion. The main event was good, the WCW Title match was good and so was the opening Steel Cage match. However, most other things were filler. Nothing is god awful, but nothing is must see.