FEEDBACK: WWF Raw is War (May 21, 2001)

On Rewind-A-Wai #63, we are reviewing WWF Raw is War from May 21, 2001.

This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer @Schicflair.

The entire episode is available on the WWE Network

The show will be released Tuesday, June 9th with a full review of the show, a look back at the news from that week in 2001, and your feedback to the show that can be posted below.

WWF Raw Is War
Monday, May 21, 2001
San Jose, California at the Compaq Center
WWF Tag Titles: Steve Austin & Triple H © vs. Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit
WWF Intercontinental Title: Kane © vs. Kurt Angle
Eddy Guerrero & Jeff Hardy vs. Edge & Christian
The Dudley Boyz vs. Hardcore & Crash Holly
WWF European Title: Matt Hardy © vs. X-Pac
The APA vs. Perry Saturn & Dean Malenko
WWF Hardcore Title: Rhyno © vs. Big Show

Bruce from Vancouver,

I know everyone remembers this show for the incredible main event, but I have a very different association with it. I was still living with my parents, and for months my mother and I had been arguing about whether I was wasting my time watching pro wrestling. She was convinced it was trash, I was convinced it was an athletic art form. I had finally convinced her to watch an episode of Raw with me so at the very least she’d have a better sense of what she was criticizing. I was sure that the in-ring prowess of Jericho, Benoit, Edge & Christian, the Hardys and all the rest would be obvious even to a newcomer. I had not, of course, planned on Terri Runnels dumping a can of beer on her chest shortly after the first match. My mother gave me a look of withering disgust I can still remember to this day, and walked out. Later on I tried to explain that she’d missed one of the greatest TV matches of all time, but she was having none of it.


Michael from Newfoundland

This was a great episode of RAW. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy was the backstage segment between Derba and Austin. I enjoyed heel-Austin but watching his real-life marriage problems on TV was not fun.

I was mostly through the main event when I realized that this was the match that HHH had torn his squad. That must have hurt like hell.

Jesse from the 6

On the last Rewind-A-Wai, Wai stated that he didn’t think he had watched this episode since it aired in 2001. . .well he has, in 2013, when you lads first reviewed this show. I wonder if today, as then, you will be inspired to:

  • Discuss curry that gave Wai diarrhea.

  • Look up the history of the Hardcore Title to see how long this momentous reign of the Big Show would last (1 week).

  • Argue over the theoretical jurisdictions and hierarchies of the European, Intercontinental, and World Championships.

  • Declare the X-Factor theme song to be the worst song in the history of the world (Wai) or, conversely, to actually admit to liking the theme song (John).

*If Wai will describe the famous false finish in the main event as Earl Hebner, “Being sucked into some kinda vortex”.

Is the reason Vince basically gave up on pushing the Two Chrises before King of the Ring that the ratings for this episode and subsequent episodes were down?
Do you think a better route forward would have been a singles match between Austin & Jericho at the PPV?
Benoit gets injured, I think in the TLC match later this week. Instead of making him work in an odd two-babyface threeway match, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have Austin “injure” Benoit in one of those great matches in Alberta and then have Jericho go for revenge and the title? I think they could have really got Jericho over as a babyface champ this summer.
But then, with the Invasion coming, it would have just fucked everything up anyway, I guess.

“You’re Welcome”

1 Like

I hope you guys are doing well and sorry for the long feedback. Feel free to skip it if you’re running short on time. I didn’t remember much of this episode when I sat back to watch it, and I learnt a lot more about stories and events since, so it was a very interesting rewatch.

  1. I’ve actually never seen much of Stone Colds heel run after the mania 17 match, other than his skits with Kurt, so a heel Stone Cold promo was very weird. He was still a great promo, but it just felt weird. Sticking with Stone Cold, it felt awkward to see his interactions with Debra knowing about the future legal and marital issues they had.

  2. I enjoyed Kurt a lot, his goofy heel schtick always got a crack out of me. It also makes you sympathetic for Angle when Shane randomly comes back and rambles on about the letters WCW for like 5 minutes when Kurt is just trying to celebrate with the audience and later cost Kurt the match against Kane. Dick Move Shane.

  3. The filler in the show was just filler for me from the Hardy’s to APA to Rascals to everything in between. I wasn’t bored, and it certainly wasn’t as confusing as a certain show from some 8 months back, but it wasn’t the most compelling stuff.

  4. I’m with John from 2013 and actually like the X factor theme albeit a little ironically. But whenever I see X-Pac doing the broncobuster in these past shows, I’m always reminded of the unfortunate incident from 5 years ago or so.

  5. The main event was a fantastic match, but the crowd and the storytelling is what put it into the next level of great TV matches. JR and Heyman do a masterful job at selling the heels deviousness and the faces sheer willpower. I really enjoyed it, but I can’t help but feel that it’s legacy is bolstered by the knowledge that HHH worked part of the match hurt. Maybe I’m wrong, but had he not gotten hurt, it would have been a little less famous or infamous.

I’ve heard John talk about this, but knowing the rock was going and HHH would suffer this injury, the Stone Cold turn was probably an unfortunate thing at that time for the company as Taker was the biggest face present and he certainly didn’t come off as a face taunting and threatening Debra. But the counter argument to this was outside of Austin and Hunter, the biggest heel and certainly by a fair margin was Angle. So had Austin not turned heel and Hunter was injured, who do you think would’ve been the Heel he would faced post Mania.

Paul from New Jersey

My goodness the talent on this show. I don’t go back and watch shows from this time as much as I should so it was fun seeing guys like Crash & Perry Saturn. Always thought Saturn could have been more, like many, drug issues got the better of his career. Onto the main event. Triple H & Steve Austin taking on Chris Jericho & redacted. Glad to see the tagteam championships being hijacked by singles performers isn’t new. Now I have that U2 beautiful day song stuck in my head. performers change, things happen, but I always thought Kurt Angle going from funny and charismatic to barely even being able to read a promo shouts of CTE to me. Lot of punishing stuff at this time. Nothing more punishing than the APA always pounding ass T-shirt. What a collectible.