Background: Since the Invasion pay-per-view one month earlier, Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy were feuding over the WWF Hardcore title. Four nights before this match at Summerslam, Rob Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy in a Ladder match to become the new WWF Hardcore champion.
August 23, 2001
WWF Hardcore title: Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
When Jeff slid into the ring, RVD tried to get the jump on his challenger, but almost ended up being pinned early thanks to a variety of roll ups and cradles. The stalemate that occurred following Hardy’s series of pinning combinations didn’t last long as Hardy continued his momentum, going after Van Dam’s left leg. The action spilled to the outside, with Hardy grabbing the plunder littering the ring’s underside. Hardy literally wore Van Dam’s left leg out with a broom until the item eventually broke. On the final swing, Van Dam used his good right leg to kick Hardy away. Broom backbreaker by RVD – innovative!
RVD, being a master of using chairs in crazy ways, rolled a chair in position for a monkey flip that sent Jeff halfway across the ring until Hardy crashed against the steel chair. Setting up a table on the floor didn’t take away RVD’s advantage, but RVD looking to superplex Hardy through the table did. In an amazing show of agility, Hardy turned RVD’s superplex attempt into a frakensteiner … for a near fall!
The cactus clothesline by Hardy saw both men fall to the floor. Hardy immediately grabbed a large ladder from underneath the ring, crushing and cracking RVD between the ladder and the ring. Jeff beat RVD until he was on the table in front of the ladder Hardy set up. The crowd was going wild as Jeff motioned for the Swanton Bomb from the top of the ladder. As Jeff sailed through the air, RVD moved! Jeff Hardy fell through the table that exploded upon impact! (No pun intended)
Instead of going for a pin, RVD did his best to assist the medics who ran out to help Hardy. The referee called this one in favor of RVD.
Winner: Rob Van Dam (6:30)
After the match, fellow WCW/ECW Alliance member Raven jumped RVD in hopes of becoming the new Hardcore champion by utilizing the 24/7 Hardcore title defense rule. A minute and a half later, RVD finished Raven off with the Five Star Frog Splash
Is It A Classic: As a match, not really simply because it was a good opener for a TV show that truly deserved more time. Just when they were going good, it was over. But that’s why you would have to buy the PPVs so you can see matches like these, but longer and better (or that’s how it used to be). While this match wasn’t necessarily a classic, it did feature a classic moment with Jeff obliterating a table unlike anything seen in the WWF up to that point. As a matter of fact, here it is for you that haven’t seen this piece of early new millennium wrestling history.