WWE PPV Flashbacks: Insurrextion - May 5, 2001

Insurrextion
May 5, 2001
Earls Court, London, England

The traditional of holding special PPVs in the UK continued into 2001 with a stop in at London for Insurrextion. Once again, there's not a huge amount to talk about with these shows, as the real focus was on the proper PPV of the month which we'll get to next time. Our main event tonight is a unique handicap match for the WWF Championship. The match pits champion Stone Cold Steve Austin, along with his Power Trip partner Triple H, up against the Undertaker. The twist is that Undertaker can only win the title if he pins Austin though. Now you can probably work out the outcome of that match already. But anyway, lets jump right in. As always, I welcome all your thoughts and feedback on Twitter at @Mpmcc91.

There's no standard opening video to start the show, which is a bit strange. Instead we open in Commissioner Regal's office. He gets a pretty big pop from the crowd despite being a heel since we are in England and all. Mr McMahon bursts in angry that Regal has apparently been changing the card tonight. Regal knows about the changes, but he has nothing to do with it. Its all Linda McMahon's doing. Vince starts talking about his wife who shows up behind him. She basically tells him the changes will stay as they are.

We now go into the arena for the first time, where we are welcomed by our announcers for the night - Michael Cole & Paul Heyman. I take it JR wasn't on this trip.

Grandmaster Sexay vs Eddie Guerrero
Our opener features two guys who are actually on their way out. Eddie has been involved in a recent storyline with the Hardy Boyz in an attempt to regain his European title from Matt Hardy, but he would be sent to rehab within a month or so, and eventually released from his contract. He'd be back of course, which we'll get to down the line. Grandmaster Sexay on the other hand has been teaming with Steve Blackman since Scotty 2 Hotty got injured, but he won't be around much longer and is pretty much done as far as relevance with the company is concerned. Anyway, Eddie jumps Sexay to start and puts on his goggles and mimics his opponent's dance. Sexay fights back though and sends Eddie to the outside with a missile dropkick. Instead of following up, he dances for the crowd, but he stays in control once Eddie returns to the ring, sending him face first into the turnbuckle. A bit of offence later and Sexay goes up for the Hip Hop Drop, but Eddie avoids the move. Sexay ends up getting crotched on the ropes as Latino Heat comes back and Eddie rolls him up for the quick victory at 4:30. Just a basic start to the glorified house show here. Nothing special. Eddie will be back and better than ever in about a year's time.
Grade: *1/2

Backstage we see Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Triple H basically says not to worry about the Undertaker.

Holly Cousins w/Molly Holly vs Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn w/Terri
This isn't actually as thrown together as it might look, as there is history here between Crash Holly and Dean Malenko, with Crash beating Malenko a month or two ago to win the Light Heavyweight Championship. Of course, Crash has now subsequently lost that title to Jerry Lynn on Heat prior to Backlash. Saturn is wearing some flamboyant outfit, which was his new thing after taking his relationship with Terri to a new level. This was actually supposed to be a six person inter-gender match, but Terri refuses to participate as she does not have her wrestling gear. The women stay at ringside anyway. Hardcore Holly and Perry Saturn start things out here, whilst Molly goes after Terri. There's really not a huge deal to talk about for the match. The heels start out in control, but Perry misses an elbow drop to Hardcore, which allows Crash to come in. Crash delivers a hurracana and from there, all six people at ringside get involved. Molly goes right for Terri when the latter breaks up a pinning attempt, and this leads to the ref getting distracted. Saturn meanwhile hits Crash with the Three Handled Moss Covered Family Gredenza (talk about a mouthful) to pick up the victory for the sputtering Radicalz at 5:37. Nothing all that spectacular here, and all four of the men in this match really wouldn't be doing much of note going forward.
Grade: **

We see a video package focusing on Regal's activities in England over the course of the UK tour. The fans love the corrupt Commissioner in his home country. Back in his office, Regal looks forward to the tremendous ovation he will receive when he defeats Chris Jericho for the Queen's Cup trophy later tonight. We then see footage of Big Show taking out Test on Smackdown for his involvement with Shane McMahon at Backlash. Show was supposed to face Test tonight.

This brings out the Big Show to the ring. He gets on the mic and talks trash about Test before demanding that he come out and raise his hand in victory by forfeit. Show calls Test a coward, but Test comes out selling his injuries. Test refuses to raise Show's hand, so the giant puts a beating on the injured superstar, destroying Test's taped ribs. Officials pull Test to safety and tend to him, whilst Show gets on the mic and puts out an open challenge. It appears nobody is going to answer, so Show leaves up the ramp, only to be confronted by Bradshaw of the APA to a big pop. We've got ourselves an impromptu match.

Bradshaw vs Big Show
The EMTs come out to take care of Test as this match gets under way. Show starts out chopping at Bradshaw. Bradshaw gets some momentum back though with a shoulder block, and he subsequently blocks a chokeslam attempt from the world's largest athlete. Show gets frustrated and grabs a chair before going after Test. Test returns to the ring and delivers a Big Boot into the chair to get some retribution on his attacker. Bradshaw follows up with the Clothesline from Hell to Show for the win at 3:20. Wow, talk about an upset! Show's definitely fallen down the ranks after being semi-involved in the main event scene following his return to action in January. That would continue for the rest of the year. Bradshaw was a guy they always seemed to want to give a solo push but it wouldn't really play out until the JBL days some three years into the future. This was fine for what it was, but that's not saying much.
Grade: 1/2*

Backstage, Jonathan Coachman gets a word with Stone Cold. Austin says the fact that Taker wants to face both himself and Triple H shows what an idiot he is, and that tonight the Decade of Destruction comes to an end.

Elimination Match:
Hardy Boyz vs Dudley Boyz vs Edge & Christian vs X-Pac & Justin Credible w/Albert

With the Power Trip holding the tag team titles, this match is really just for bragging rights. The Dudley Boyz have some history with X-Factor going back to our last PPV outing, whilst the rest of the teams being linked together needs no explanation. Its elimination rules here, and only two men are in the ring at any one time, meaning you can tag in anybody you want. Big pops for the Hardy and Dudley Boyz as you would expect, and Matt Hardy is the reigning European Champion. Its strange that this is a UK show and he's not defending that title, but you wanted the Hardy Boyz in a match like this. Bubba Ray starts things out Justin Credible here. They go at it before bringing in Matt and Christian, and we get our usual rotation of guys in these kinds of matches. The members of X-Factor eventually work over Matt, and X-Pac dishes out the Bronco Buster on the European Champion. He fights back and Jeff gets the hot tag and cleans house, taking out Edge & Christian on the apron as well. The Hardy Boyz go for Poetry in Motion on X-Pac, but it misses. A subsequent Twist of Fate does not however, and Albert comes in only to accidentally splash Pac. To cap it all of, Jeff delivers the Swanton Bomb and scores the pin on Pac to eliminate the X-Factor from the match. That brings us down to the three teams everyone wants to see anyway. But maybe I spoke too soon there, as X-Factor pull Matt out and put a beating on him outside the ring in anger. This provides a distraction to Jeff, and Christian nails him with the Unprettier, which eliminates the Hardy Boyz about thirty seconds after the previous elimination. That brings the match down to the Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian, who traded the tag titles earlier in the year. The heels work over D-Von here, and after taking a beating, the referee misses his tag to Bubba. The double teaming continues at the hands of E&C, but Bubba finally gets the proper hot tag. Bubba cleans house and hits the Bubba Bomb on Christian, which leads to the Dudley Boyz following up with the Wazzup. Bubba tells D-Von to get the tables as the crowd go crazy as always. Before they can follow up however, Rhyno (still the Hardcore Champion and buddy of E&C) runs down and hits the Gore on Bubba. This allows Edge to roll on top of his downed opponent to score the pin at 13:20. Edge & Christian emerge victorious once again, thanks to the Man-Beast. After the match, Rhyno wants to do more damage and sets up a table. Spike Dudley makes the save though, and this gives the Dudley Boyz the chance to 3D the Hardcore Champion through the table to please the crowd. This was the best match of the night so far, but we've seen much better from the tag division in recent months. This was nothing more than average.
Grade: **1/2

We now get a video package showing the WWF's involvement at a Make a Wish event here in England. I know they were involved with Make a Wish for years, but its weird to see it before John Cena was even with the company. Back to the show, Kurt Angle is backstage with Jonathan Coachman. Angle is upset that Chris Benoit has stolen his gold medals and he wants them back. They continue their rivalry in a 2 out of 3 falls match later tonight.

Back in the arena, the Right to Censor siren hits and out walk Steven Richards & Ivory. I thought the RTC was gone by this point - this must be near the very end of their run. Richards does his usual rant about censorship and rips on the UK for printing pictures of the Page 3 models in publications accessed by children. Richards says that he has cancelled the women's battle royal (because he has the power to do that for some reason) and instead, the other participants are going to come out and reform their ways in the image of the RTC. This brings out Jacqueline, Trish Stratus & Lita, who are all faces. Ivory rips on the women saying that she is the only true female in the WWF, which leads to her clothes getting ripped off by the others. Steven Richards looks on in shock, so Trish attempts to seduce him, only to follow up with a low blow to the leader of the RTC. They rip his pants off as well, and Lita adds to the humiliation with a moonsault. Trish, Jackie and Lita celebrate together, but this was really just filler. I'm not sure why they didn't just have the battle royal, as it wouldn't have taken up any more time than this.

We now get a video package looking at the Angle/Benoit feud.

2 out of 3 Falls Match:
Chris Benoit vs Kurt Angle

As a random trivia factoid, these two actually faced off at last years Insurrextion event in a singles match that wasn't up to the standard of some of their other battles. Of course, back then both men were heels going in different directions. Fast forward a year, Benoit is a face and they are involved in a heated rivalry over who is the the better technical wrestler. Things have taken a more personal turn since Backlash however, as Chris Benoit has stolen Kurt Angle's gold medals on Raw is War. He promises Kurt that he has kept them in a nice warm place though. Anyway, this is a two out of three falls match between the two. Angle gets on the mic before the match as usual, but they lock up once the bell rings and start out with a waistlock exchange. Angle gets the upper hand with an elbow to Benoit's face, but we follow up with some mat wrestling which leads to Benoit going for the Crossface, only for Angle to escape the ring to avoid the hold. Kurt takes a breather and comes back in attempting to regain some momentum, but Benoit outwrestles him once again and locks in the Crossface once more. Angle gets to the ropes and comes back with a belly to belly. His control doesn't last long though, as Benoit fires back with the triple German combination, and follows up with the Diving Headbutt to score the first fall around eight minutes in. As the second fall gets under way, Angle pretends to be injured, but he's playing possum and decks his opponent from behind when Benoit lets his guard down. Angle takes charge now and delivers another belly to belly, but Benoit kicks out. Angle continues to suplex away, but Benoit comes back with a suplex of his own and DDT leading to both men going down. Angle recovers and attempts the Olympic Slam, but Benoit counters into another triple German. He looks to score this fall just like the prior with a Diving Headbutt again, but this time Kurt gets out of the way and follows up with the Ankle Lock. Things aren't going Kurt's way though, as Benoit counters into the Crossface. We get a few reversals as Angle escapes, but out of nowhere Benoit rolls Kurt up to score the second fall at 14:23. Chris Benoit wins the match 2-0. Very surprising to see the match not go to a final fall here. This really put Benoit over strong, but the feud was not over. Pretty good stuff as standard for these guys, but not on the level of their past two major encounters. After the match, Kurt is frustrated, but Benoit adds insult to injury by revealing that he has been keeping Kurt's medals down his pants. Kurt storms off in a huff.
Grade: ***1/2

Backstage, Austin, Triple H and their wives are hanging around. Debra complains when they tell her to get them some drinks. Just filler to show how confident the heels are heading into the main event. From here, we go to a video package looking at the Jericho/Regal feud. I had forgotten they had one more match after the Backlash one.

Queens Cup Match:
Chris Jericho vs William Regal

The Queens Cup is a giant trophy that Regal has made for this match and will never be mentioned again. This is pretty much the end of this feud. Regal actually beat Jericho in screwy fashion at Backlash in the Dutchess rules contest, so Y2J responded the following night on Raw by attacking the Commissioner, so thats about all there is to say here. Regal gets a pretty good pop which the announcers completely downplay here, but Jericho gets a good reaction as well. Jericho starts out by chopping at the Commissioner and is on fire for the early going. He goes to put Regal in the Walls of Jericho, but Regal blocks it and takes control from there. Jericho launches a brief comeback, but Regal stays in control as the match wears on. The action goes to the floor, where Regal does some further damage by sending Y2J into the ring post, and back in the ring he locks in a chinlock. Y2J fights out of the hold and follows up with a missile dropkick to his opponent. Regal looks to regain control with a neckbreaker, but Jericho blocks it and goes for the Lionsault, only for the Commissioner to get his knees up. Back on offence, Regal goes for a Suplex, but Jericho rolls through into a German, and follows up with the Walls of Jericho. The Commissioner has nowhere to go and is forced to tap out at 14:46, thus the Queens Cup trophy goes to Y2J. The match was okay, but it never really kicked into a higher gear for me. The feud really seemed done by now and it would be from here. Jericho celebrates his victory afterwards, but Regal gets the last laugh by attacking him from behind and destroying the trophy out of anger.
Grade: **1/4

Our main event is up next, so we get a video package looking at the Power Trips's issues with the Brothers of Destruction.

WWF Championship:
Steve Austin (c) & Triple H w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley vs Undertaker

Alright, so this is a continuation of the Power Trip/Brothers of Destruction rivalry from Backlash. Austin is the WWF Champion whilst Triple H is the Intercontinental Champion. Together they are also the WWF Tag Team Champions as a result of the Backlash match, so they hold all the major gold here. Only Austin's title is on the line tonight though, and Taker can only become champion if he pins Austin or makes him submit. A victory over Triple H gives him nothing. The whole reason this is a handicap match stems from the Power Trip assaulting the already injured arm of Kane on Raw after Backlash, so his big brother is forced to go at it alone tonight. Austin still gets a pretty big pop here despite being a heel, but Taker is over as well. The Power Trip start out stalling whilst Taker grabs a chair. The heels utilise the numbers game when Triple H jumps Taker from behind leading to Austin coming in and beating on him as well, but the challenger fights them off, almost delivering the chokeslam to Austin, only for the Game to make the save. The action goes up the ramp, where Taker backdrops out of a piledriver attempt by Austin and he fights with Triple H back into the ring from there. Taker stays in control and hits Old School early on. He continues to control the match when Austin tags in, going for the chokeslam only for Triple H to prevent it yet again. The numbers game comes into play again, this time with Stephanie getting up on the apron to cause a distraction. Meanwhile Austin grabs the chair and nails Taker face first behind the ref's back, but the American Badass kicks out at two. The bad guys wear down Taker some more from here with Triple H locking in a sleeper, but when Austin tags in he gets caught in a Taker sleeper of his own. Taker gets a burst of momentum and fights off Triple H out of the ring, chokeslamming him through the Spanish announce table in the process. He resumes his battle with the WWF Champion in the ring, going for the chokeslam yet again, but this time Austin saves himself with a low blow. Despite the set back, Taker recovers and this time hits a chokeslam successfully on Austin. He stands around a bit before making the pin for some reason though, and by the time the cover is made, Triple H manages to get in to break it up. This brings out Vince McMahon with a steel chair in hand. He goes to whack Taker, but he accidentally hits Triple H instead! Taker follows up with a chokeslam to Vince, and then another to the Game, who he then pins to win the match at 17:12. Well that was a bit foolish - Taker wins the match, but because he pinned Triple H, he is not the WWF Champion. Wouldn't he have wanted to hone in on Austin again after taking the Game out? Oh well, as a match this was okay, but nothing amazing. The whole Brothers of Destruction feud was really just a way to give the Power Trip something to do before their inevitable break up, something which wouldn't eventuate and force a rushed change in storylines that we'll get into soon enough. Anyway, Taker stands tall to send the fans home happy, but it was clear that he wasn't winning the title tonight.
Grade: **3/4

FINAL THOUGHTS:
As tends to be my standard comment for these UK shows, this was just a run of the mill house show broadcast on PPV for the most part. There really was nothing worth seeking out on here aside from the Angle/Benoit match, and even so they have had better matches through this feud thus far on our past two PPVs. The main event was meaningless due to Taker pinning Triple H and thus not winning the title, although it did set the American Bad Ass up for a rematch on our next proper PPV for the WWF title. I'm really struggling to find things to say about this show - there really just wasn't much to talk about. The company is treading water at the moment to hold off on Triple H's eventual face turn to feud with Austin, but as I alluded to earlier, that actually won't happen as we will see soon enough. The Jericho/Regal feud ends here and Y2J will move up the card in the next few months, whilst the tag division still has great depth. This show doesn't have a huge amount going for it though - not that it was really supposed to.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Chris Benoit - put over really strongly by winning two consecutive falls against Angle. The match was very good, but still underwhelming for the pairing, which is a testament to both men.
2. Kurt Angle - also a part of the best match on the show. He's without his medals for now, but he played his role tonight well.
3. Triple H - I liked the part he played in the main event whereby he was always there to save Austin just when it looked like Taker was closing in on a victory. He ended up being pinned, but he kept the title on his partner.

FINAL GRADE: 3 out of 10

ALL TIME PERFORMANCE TALLY:
What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1.

Steve Austin = 99
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 67
The Rock = 52
Triple H = 50
Mick Foley = 38
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 26
Owen Hart = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
X-Pac = 18
Kurt Angle = 16
Diesel = 15
Chris Jericho = 14
Matt Hardy = 14
Jeff Hardy = 14
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Christian = 12
Chris Benoit = 12
Edge = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Bubba Ray Dudley = 7
D-Von Dudley = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Rikishi = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Shane McMahon = 3
Chyna = 3
Kane = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Test = 1
Big Show = 1
Dean Malenko = 1
Scotty 2 Hotty = 1
Rhyno = 1

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