Monday, October 18, 2021

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From the Vault: Survivor Series 2001

Hello everybody and welcome to the second of a double dose of me. This week in From the Vault, we’re going back to my favourite pay per view of ALL time. It beats all Wrestlemanias, all Royal Rumbles and everything in between. I’m talking of course (because the title already gave it away) about WWF Survivor Series, 2001. Can I still call it WWF? There was SO much history going into the Pay-Per-View, so much prestige and so much to lose. Alright, so it was all storyline, but nine year old me didn’t know that, and eight year old me was terrified of WWF losing everything and shutting down!

There were some great matches on this night, including the Six Pack Challenge for the Women’s Championship. There was also one of THE best commentary duos ever, Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. But we’re not here to talk about them, we’re here to talk about the Divas. Trish Stratus, Jacqueline, Mighty Molly, Lita, Ivory and Jazz put on a hell of a match, and it culminated with Trish securing a win for Team WWF(E?) and capturing her first ever Women’s Championship.

Let’s not forget the genius of Stephanie McMahon. I know I blow her trumpet A LOT but she’s a serious inspiration, and she can do no wrong. Especially not in her early television years.

Let’s get to it.

Our first Diva sighting was Debra (DEBRA!), who was accompanying her husband “Stone Cold” Steve Austin backstage, and carrying some cargo for him. They headed in to see Stephanie and Shane McMahon, the masterminds behind the Alliance. Everyone’s worried because at this point, Vince McMahon has planted doubts in the Alliance’s minds. Stephanie demands to know if Stone Cold is turning on the Alliance to join the WWF. If the Alliance loses, they all lose their jobs! Stone Cold gives an out of the ordinary pep talk, and things seem okay for now.

We cut immediately to Vince McMahon and his wife Linda McMahon (LINDA!). Linda is concerned about the high stakes. Vince talks her down, reassuring her, and Michael Cole arrives to interview the pair of them.

We’re backstage with Stephanie. Captain Obvious arrives on the scene, noting that Steph looks stressed out. She is stressed out, you fool! She’s having a serious crisis, because if the Alliance loses tonight, Stephanie McMahon will become a REGULAR PERSON. God forbid. This is one of my favourite segments of all time. Stephanie is so good. She doesn’t get enough credit from people for her on-screen work – she grew up in the business, around all of the drama. She’s a natural.

It’s Lita! She’s with Jeff Hardy (you all know how deep my love runs for him). They’re prepping for the Hardys’ match against the Dudley Boyz to unify the Tag Team Championships. Props to Jeff for his N.Y.P.D. armband. Lita’s concerned about her boyfriend, Matt Hardy. He’s been acting strange lately but Jeff has no idea why. If I remember right this all led to a feud between Matt and Jeff and Lita, and I was always rooting for Jeff and Lita. I’m a sucker for a love story but I never reeeeally warmed up to Matt and Lita. That is until Trish Stratus came on the scene and she and Jeff went all gooey-eyed for each other. Like I said, sucker for a love story.

Matt comes out of the dressing room just at the moment when Lita’s asking about him. He convinces them both that he’s only concerned for WWF and their dream jobs, and Lita’s satisfied. Until Trish emerges from the very same dressing room that Matt did. In Trish’s defense, the door says Team WWF. But she has a right to be nervous; Trish did lay one on Matt not too long ago to distract him in a match. Although that was before Jesh happened.

Jesh is my terrible attempt at combining Trish and Jeff’s names. Jish? Triff?

It’s the Duchess of Dudleyville herself! Stacy Keibler accompanies the Dudley Boyz to ringside for their match with the Hardys. I always liked Stacy, and I’m forever bitter that she and Randy Orton didn’t work out. If anything’s going to end a relationship, it’s an RKO.

There’s a little recap of the previous SmackDown, where Lita attacks Stacy on the ring apron and sends her flying. Right into Matt Hardy’s waiting arms. He drops her right away, but Lita walks straight into a 3D. Back in present time, Stacy is at ringside while the men get to it. What with it being a steel cage match, Stacy doesn’t have much room to get involved. That is until 18:46, when Bubba Ray politely tells her to ‘get the tables!’.

The Alliance referee tries to tell her that it’s not gonna fly, but she uses her womanly wiles to get her way, as all great Divas do. She steals the referee’s keys and begins unlocking the door to the cage! Stacy succeeds in handing her boys a table, and the Dudleys do the rest as she’s scolded on the outside.

After the match, and a silly error in judgement on Jeff’s part, Lita’s in the ring tending to the fallen Hardy brother.

Finally, we have the six pack challenge. Trish, Lita and Jacqueline are representing the WWF, while Ivory, Jazz and Mighty Molly are batting for the Alliance. With the entrances out of the way and the rules explained, Jazz goes right after Lita as the other four ladies step out of the ring. The bell rings and we’re under way. Jazz lays into Lita with some kicks to the mid section and suplex. She doesn’t let up. If there’s anyone I’d want on my side in a fight, it’s Jazz.

Lita finally manages to get in some offense with a reversal. She hits a hurricanrana on Jazz that gives her time to recuperate, but not much of it. Jazz tags in Mighty Molly, and Jacqueline tags herself in on Lita’s behalf. Jacqueline takes down Mighty Molly after our favourite heroine plays up the crowd, and it gets her a one count. The pace picks up and Molly lays Jacqueline out, but she’s back on her feet and sends Molly flying to the mat with a huge arm drag, followed by a drop kick. Molly tags out to Ivory.

Ivory walks right into a drop kick, and Jacqueline goes for a roll up. She gets a two count, before Ivory counters for a count of her own. Another two count, and Jacqueline reverses. Then Ivory reverses, then Jacqueline reverses and the poor ref is having trouble keeping up! Ivory springboards Jacqueline right into the ring ropes and she bounces back nastily. Jacqueline does the smart thing and tags in Trish, who’s raring to go and gives Ivory a taste of her own medicine.

Trish hits a nice flapjack, but Molly gives her knee to the back for good measure and it gives Ivory the upper hand. With Trish down, Ivory hits a cheap shot on Lita, but Lita’s not having any of that. She tries to get into the ring but the ref stops her, allowing time for Jazz, Molly and Ivory to attack Trish. Lita finally gets past the referee and she and Jacqueline whip some Alliance butt. A big double clothesline takes down Ivory, before Lita and Jacqueline take a page out of Team Extreme’s hand book and deliver some Lita-fied poetry in motion on Jazz. They set up to do the same with Molly, but Jacqueline bursts up from the ground and takes Lita out with a HUGE clothesline.

Molly hits a senton on Jacqueline, and then walks into a Chick Kick from Trish, who in turn is nailed by Ivory with a face buster, before Ivory walks into a Twist of Fate! Lita goes high risk and hits a moonsault, before pinning Ivory for a two count. Jazz and Molly break it up before it’s over and double team Lita, but she fights back with a double clothesline to take them both down.

Jazz takes on Lita and irish whips her off the ropes, into the waiting arms of Trish Stratus who sends the extreme diva careering over the top rope and to the outside. Jazz lines up Trish but Trish evades her and sends her to the outside too! It’s down to Ivory and Trish now, and it looks like Ivory’s going to take the belt as she lines Trish up for a back drop. But Trish counters, lands on her feet and delivers a little Stratusfaction. She gets the three count!

Trish wins her first Women’s championship, and her face says it all. What a night!

But that’s not all folks – how could I close out this piece without including Stephanie McMahon’s reaction to Kurt Angle turning on the Alliance, and costing them the match?! Here, for your viewing pleasure, is Stephanie McMahon realizing she’s going to become a REGULAR PERSON!

See you next week! x

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