Austin, Angle and Mr. McMahon – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment
I decided to write this piece on the fly, because I was so taken aback by a match I saw yesterday. I had to take some notes and do something about it. I recently acquired a collection all episodes of Monday Night Raw in 2001. I was watching the second episode (08/01/01) and enjoyed this match so much that I thought I’d write a short article about it. I may start doing these from now on, if more great matches pop up, as I’m sure they will as I go through the episodes. If you want to see some really long, in-depth reviews of classic matches, check out these by Wrestling Rambles.
To give you a little bit of background. Contrary to what the picture above suggests, Kurt Angle was in fact WWF Champion at this point, having gotten away by the skin of his teeth for the last few months. Austin earned this title shot by pinning The Undertaker on the previous episode. Ah, the days when the top belt would be defended every week. It’s a good job the stars they had were that over, because if not the pay-per-views would have sucked. Austin was still at loggerheads with the McMahon’s after years of their feuding.
The match started off with some real intense brawling, mostly dominated by Austin. The two of them eventually spilled outside and caused chaos over at the announce table, in the crowd and around the ring. Attitude Era fans, be careful not to get too excited. What surprised me was that after a good few minutes of this, it actually turned into a pretty cool wrestling match inside the ring. The two of them exchanged some beautifully executed suplexes as Austin returned to his old style and Angle continued to perfect his. Angle was particularly epic when delivering like sixty suplexes to Austin, who sold each and every one of them like the pro that he is.
The two of them worked some great traditional psychology, and told a really captivating story in the ring. For a standard Raw main event, during a period when matches would rarely go over five minutes and usually involved something outrageous or insane, this was a very good wrestling match. I shouldn’t really be so surprised though given the performers in question. Angle was a guest on The Steve Austin Show recently, and the two of them talked a lot about their work in the ring together. That’s definitely worth checking out. I would link you, but all of the podcasts have been taken off of YouTube all of a sudden.
Triple H returned to interfere at the end of the match and take out Austin causing the DQ. The two of them brawled all around the ring, before Austin was busted open and left to bleed in the end by The Game. It was a shame to see a very interesting match end with a screwy finish but it was WWE after all, and the Attitude Era no less. On the whole though, I would really recommend checking this match out. It’s not the longest, it’s not a Wrestlemania main event, but it’s a good little hidden gem.
Thanks for reading.