Survivor Series 2001 was the fifteenth annual Survivor Series pay-per-view professional wrestling event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and presented by Microsoft's Xbox. It took place on November 18, 2001 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was also the last Survivor Series to be produced under the World Wrestling Federation branding, as the company world be forced to change its name several months later as the result of a verdict in the World Wildlife Fund's lawsuit against the company.
The event featured eight professional wrestling matches with outcomes predetermined by WWF script writers. The matches featured wrestlers portraying their characters in planned storylines that took place before, during and after the event.
The largest storyline that had pervaded the WWF in the preceding months was, as mentioned above, The Invasion, which came about due to the actual purchase of World Championship Wrestling by the WWF just prior to WrestleMania X-Seven. The storyline eventually grew into a WWF vs. WCW faction battle, and eventually Extreme Championship Wrestling became a part of the battle by joining forces with WCW to create The Alliance.
On the October 22, 2001 episode of Raw, Vince and Linda McMahon challenged Shane and Stephanie McMahon to a "Winner Take All" match to determine the fate of both companies, with the winning side continuing to stay in business while the losing side would be forced to disband. However, Vince McMahon had to deal with multiple defections to the Alliance side, including Kurt Angle, as well as an increasingly heated feud between two of the WWF's biggest stars, The Rock and Chris Jericho, over the WCW Championship. Vince began spreading rumors to the Alliance that there was a mole within their faction. On an episode of SmackDown! before the Survivor Series, Steve Austin was the last man standing after both factions attacked each other in the ring. After that, Vince appeared on the entrance ramp and shared a smile with Austin, teasing that Austin would be the mole.
The next night on Raw, Vince McMahon announced that the WCW Championship held by The Rock had become unbranded due to the dissolution of the Alliance and would be referred to simply as the World Championship. Several Alliance members were allowed to keep their jobs. Christian, The Dudley Boyz, and Rob Van Dam all were holding championships following the Alliance's loss (Christian was the European Champion, the Dudleys were WWF Tag Team Champions, and Van Dam was the Hardcore Champion. In addition, Stacy Keibler was able to stay employed due to her status as the valet for the Dudleys and Test won a twenty-man battle royal at Survivor Series which earned him immunity from being fired for one calendar year. (Some have erroneously listed Tazz as being in the Alliance when Survivor Series took place; Tazz had turned on the Alliance on the edition of SmackDown that immediately preceded Survivor Series by choking out Paul Heyman with the Tazzmission.) McMahon also debuted the infamous "Kiss My Ass Club" that night, where he said that an Alliance member- in this case Alliance Commissioner William Regal - would have to literally kiss his ass to keep his job.
At the very top of the show, Paul Heyman was the first Alliance member fired. Furious over being fired, Heyman lunged at his now-former broadcast partner Jim Ross, who was jeering him from the broadcast booth. The audience delighted in seeing Ross pummel Heyman before he was carted off by security. To replace him, Jerry Lawler was brought back, making his first appearance since his resignation from the company in the end of February after No Way Out. The Alliance co-leaders, Shane and Stephanie McMahon, were called to the ring to answer for what they did. While Shane accepted his defeat and walked away, Stephanie tried to plead for her job, but was escorted from the ring by WWF security per orders by the WWF chairman Vince McMahon.
Based on his actions at the end of the WWF vs. Alliance Survivor Series match, for the majority of Raw Kurt Angle went around the backstage area portraying himself as the man who saved the WWF and wanting to be praised for doing so. Instead of that, Angle drew the ire of several WWF superstars including The Rock, who defeated him later that night. After the match Chris Jericho, who had been feuding with The Rock in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series over the WCW Championship, attacked him to reignite their feud.
Despite his self-congratulating attitude, no one found Angle to be the conquering hero he was portraying himself as and by the end of Raw he was depressed and told Vince McMahon that no one appreciated him. McMahon agreed with Angle and looked for a way to reward him.
That reward came was about to come in the ring moments later, as McMahon was about to announce the stripping of the WWF Championship from Steve Austin, who had not appeared on the show yet. McMahon's intent was to award it to Kurt Angle as a token of his appreciation for Angle's actions at Survivor Series. However, before he could do so he was interrupted by Ric Flair, who returned to a WWF ring for the first time since January 1993. He announced to a surprised McMahon that when Shane and Stephanie sold their shares in the WWF to purchase WCW and ECW, he was the man who was the buyer and that, as such, he was co-owner of the WWF and he and McMahon were now partners.
Shortly thereafter Austin entered the scene and made a beeline for Kurt Angle, beginning to beat him around the ring. When McMahon tried to intervene Austin gave him the same treatment, then finally returned to the fans' good graces for the first time since WrestleMania X-Seven, when he claimed his WWF Championship, and celebrated with beers for him and Flair in the ring.
Over the coming weeks the WWF decided what to do with the world championship situation, as now there were two world championships in the company. A tournament at Vengeance was conceived, where Austin and Angle would face each other for the WWF Championship and The Rock and Jericho would face each other for the unbranded World Championship. After those two matches, the winners would face off in one final match to unify both championships. Austin defeated Angle to retain while Jericho defeated The Rock to win the World Championship. In the finals Jericho defeated Austin due to outside interference from Booker T to become the first ever WWF Undisputed Champion.
Vince McMahon was originally supposed to be part of the main event but was replaced by Big Show due to injury. In addition, a title unification match between WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri and WWF Light Heavyweight Champion X-Pac was canceled because X-Pac was injured and unable to compete. To resolve this, the WWF retired the Light Heavyweight Championship shortly after Survivor Series in favor of the Cruiserweight Championship lineage.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night HEAT match: Lance Storm, Justin Credible and Raven defeated Albert, Scotty 2 Hotty and Spike Dudley (3:08)
- WCW United States Champion Edge defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Test in a Title Unification match (11:17)
- WCW Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (w/ Stacy Keibler) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) in a Steel Cage Title Unification match (15:45)
- Trish Stratus defeated Lita, Jacqueline, Mighty Molly, Jazz and Ivory in a Six-Pack Challenge to win the vacant WWF Women's Championship (4:35)
- Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and The Big Show) defeated The Alliance (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Shane McMahon) in a 5-on-5 "Winner Take All" Survivor Series elimination match: (44:56)
Survivor Series elimination match
Elimination # Wrestler Team Eliminated by Elimination move Time 1 Big Show Team WWF Shane McMahon Pinfall after a Angle Slam, Scissors kick, Five-Star Frog Splash and Leap of Faith 12:42 2 Shane McMahon Team Alliance Chris Jericho Pinfall after a Chokeslam, Tombstone piledriver and Lionsault 14:30 3 Kane Team WWF RVD Pinfall after a Flying thrust kick 18:21 4 Undertaker Team WWF Kurt Angle Pinfall after a Stone Cold Stunner 20:03 5 Booker T Team Alliance The Rock Pinfall with a Roll up 22:33 6 RVD Team Alliance Chris Jericho Pinfall after a Breakdown 24:52 7 Kurt Angle Team Alliance The Rock Submission by Sharpshooter 31:52 8 Chris Jericho Team WWF Steve Austin Pinfall by Roll up 34:30 9 Steve Austin Team Alliance The Rock Pinfall after being hit with the WWF title belt by Angle and a Rock Bottom 44:56 Survivor: The Rock (Team WWF)
Other on-screen talent
- Vince McMahon was originally supposed to be part of the main event but was replaced by The Big Show due to injury.
- This was the final WWF event Paul Heyman provided commentary for.
- In the title unification cage match between the Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz, the Dudley's were introduced as the WWF Tag Team Champions even though they here the WCW Tag Team Title Champions and the Hardys were introduced as the WCW Tag Team Champions even though they here the WWF Tag Team Champions.
DVD & Video Releases
- Survivor Series 2001 Official Website
- Survivor Series 2001 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Survivor Series 2001 at Online World of Wrestling
- Survivor Series 2001 on WWE Network
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