SummerSlam 2001 was the fourteenth annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on August 19, 2001 at the Compaq Center in San Jose, California.
The main event was Booker T versus The Rock for the WCW Championship, which Rock won by pinfall after executing a Rock Bottom. Another main match on the card was Steve Austin versus Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship, which Angle won after Austin was disqualified for attacking referees. Another main match on the undercard was a Steel cage match between WCW Tag Team Champions Undertaker and Kane and WWF Tag Team Champions Diamond Dallas Page and Kanyon, which Undertaker and Kane won after Undertaker executed the Last Ride and pinned Page.
The main rivalry heading into SummerSlam was between The Rock and Booker T, battling over the WCW Championship. After losing the WWF Championship to Steve Austin at WrestleMania X-Seven, The Rock took a hiatus from professional wrestling to film the movie, The Scorpion King. On the July 9, 2001 edition of Raw, campaigning for The Rock's return began.Following the campaigning, The Rock returned to the WWF on the July 30, 2001 edition of Raw, where he chose to align himself with the WWF instead of The Alliance for The Invasion. This action was shown by The Rock delivering a Rock Bottom and the people's elbow onto Shane McMahon, The Alliance leader. Later that week on SmackDown!, Booker T and The Rock cut a promo, where Booker T challenged The Rock to a match at SummerSlam; the beginning of the The Rock-Booker T rivalry. Seeking revenge for the attack on the July 30, 2001 edition of Raw is War, McMahon fought The Rock in a Street Fight on the August 6 edition of Raw is War, where The Rock pinned McMahon. The rivalry between The Rock and Booker T intensified after the match, where Booker T and Shane McMahon double-teamed The Rock. Later that week on SmackDown!, in retaliation, The Rock accepted Booker T's challenge. On the August 13 edition of Raw is War, The Rock was involved in a Tag-Team match, where he lost to Booker T and Rhyno, along with Chris Jericho. On the final edition of SmackDown! before SummerSlam, McMahon announced that Booker T would defend the WCW Championship at SummerSlam against The Rock. Later that night, the rivalry continued to intensify during a Light's Out match between Booker T and The Rock, after Booker T delivered a Book End onto The Rock through a commentators announce table.
The other main match on the card was Steve Austin versus Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship. The previous month at Invasion, Team WCW/ECW (Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Rhyno and Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) defeated Team WWF (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and Kane). Team WCW/ECW won after Austin turned on the WWF when he executed a Stunner on Angle. On the following night's edition of Raw Is War, Austin stated that he did this because he felt that Vince McMahon was grooming Angle to take over his spot, and that he was "unappreciated" when McMahon insisted he return to the old Austin. Later that evening, Austin interfered during six man Elimination Tables match by assaulting Angle. Then on the edition of July 26, 2001 of SmackDown!, Angle appeared in his hometown of Pittsburgh and challenged Steve Austin for the WWF title but Austin, instead, chose Booker T to defend his WCW Championship against Angle. Later on that night, Angle won the WCW title from Booker T despite Austin's interference. On the edition of July 30, 2001 of Raw Is War, Angle dropped the championship back to Booker T with the help of Steve Austin and Shane McMahon. Afterwards, Angle challenged Austin for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam, which Austin accepted. This would be the 2nd time that the two would meet one-on-one for the WWF title with the first being January 8 on Raw Is War. The feud between Austin and Angle would escalate in the following couple of weeks leading up to SummerSlam esp. in a Six Man Tag Team Elimination match pitting Austin and the Dudley Boyz against Angle and Matt and Jeff Hardy, which Austin's team won.
Another main match heading into the event was Jeff Hardy versus Rob Van Dam in a Ladder match for the WWF Hardcore Championship. At Invasion Van Dam defeated Hardy to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. In the following weeks, after Van Dam and Hardy faced each other in Tag Team matches, on the edition of August 13, 2001 of Raw, Van Dam was scheduled to defend his title against Kurt Angle, and as long the match was underway Jeff Hardy interfered and pinned Van Dam to win the title for himself. This led to a Ladder match for the title at SummerSlam between Hardy and Van Dam.
A fourth match heading into the event was Chris Jericho versus Rhyno. The feud all started when Jericho made fun of ECW owner Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley over the last few weeks and even threw a pie in her face during an in-ring segment on the August 6th edition of Raw. Stephanie vowed to make Jericho pay for humiliating her. She sent the Dudley Boyz out to defeat Jericho in a handicap match but the match was changed to a tag team match to include Kurt Angle. Jericho and Angle won the match after Angle made D-Von tap out to the Ankle Lock. Three days later on SmackDown!, Jericho defeated Hugh Morrus in a singles match after making him tap out to the Walls of Jericho. After the match, Rhyno attacked Jericho and Gored him through the SmackDown! entrance set. Backstage, Stephanie told Rhyno that she was impressed with his actions and Rhyno asked for a match with Jericho at SummerSlam which Stephanie agreed to give him. On the August 13th edition of Raw, Stephanie announced that she would accompany Rhyno to the ring at SummerSlam for his match against Jericho. Three days before the event on SmackDown!, Jericho and WWF Hardcore Champion Jeff Hardy lost to Rhyno and Rob Van Dam when Van Dam pinned Hardy. After the match, Jericho approached Stephanie and Rhyno tried to Gore Jericho from behind but Jericho avoided it and the distraction allowed Stephanie to escape.
Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, a match for Sunday Night Heat aired on MTV. The match was originally slated to be a handicap match featuring Lita, and Jacqueline (representing the WWF) versus Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, and Ivory (representing The Alliance). Backstage, before this match, Wilson, Ivory and Keibler attacked Lita, weakening her. Matt Hardy checked on her and advised her not to compete in the match, but she insisted that she was fine. Jacqueline was alone in the beginning of the match, until Molly Holly (from the WWF) ran to the ring, and became a part of the match, teaming with Jacqueline. Lita eventually came down to the ring and performed the Twist of Fate on Ivory, allowing Jacqueline to pin her for the win.
The first match to air was for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, with reigning champion Lance Storm facing off against Edge. Before the match started, Christian and other WWF stars were shown backstage watching the match. The start of the match saw Edge nail Storm with a clothesline and a cross-body splash from the top rope. Storm regained momentum and began the attack on Edge, knocking him off of his feet. When Edge got up, he his a powerslam onto Storm. Storm made his way to his feet and trapped Edge in a single-leg Boston Crab, which Edge broke by grabbing the top rope. As Edge got up, Christian ran down to the ring. Christian tried to spear Storm, but missed and hit Edge instead. Edge hit a DDT onto Storm and covered him to get the pin, and win the championship.
The next match was The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and Test versus The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) and Spike Dudley (with Molly Holly). As the match began, Spike immediately tried to attack Bubba Ray and D-Von, although Bubba Ray quickly threw Spike down. Test took over and attacked Spike while Bubba Ray and D-Von took out a table. Test picked up Spike and prepared to throw him into the table. Before he could, Spike poked his eyes, which caused Test to drop Spike. Test recovered and threw Spike into the table. Shane McMahon then ran down to the ring, and nailed Bradshaw with a steel chair, allowing Test to get the pin and win the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Lita, Jacqueline, and Molly Holly defeated Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, and Ivory (02:55)
- Edge defeated Lance Storm (c) to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship (11:16)
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and Test defeated The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) and Spike Dudley (w/ Molly Holly) (07:19)
- X-Pac defeated Tajiri in a Title unification match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (07:33)
- Chris Jericho defeated Rhyno (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) (12:34)
- Rob Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy (c) in a Ladder match to win the WWF Hardcore Championship (16:33)
- The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) (w/ Sara) defeated Diamond Dallas Page and Kanyon in a Steel cage match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship and the WWF Tag Team Championship (10:13)
- Kurt Angle defeated Steve Austin (c) by disqualification for the WWF Championship (22:30)
- The Rock defeated Booker T (c) (w/ Shane McMahon) to win the WCW Championship (15:19)
Other on-screen talent
- SummerSlam 2001 Offical Website
- SummerSlam 2001 at CAGEMATCH.net
- SummerSlam 2001 at Online World of Wrestling
- SummerSlam 2001 on WWE Network
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