April 6, 2003
Piper, Goldberg and Sable return
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun
It was a sensational week for WWE.
A strong Wrestlemania card, an exceptional RAW and an eventful Smackdown!
Goldberg is back. So is Sable. So is Rowdy Roddy Piper.
And Toronto\'s own diva, Trish Stratus, is once again a world champion.
Last Sunday\'s Wrestlemania was a night of new champions and a night of tremendous performances.
Kurt Angle, as expected, lost his title to Brock Lesnar, who was hospitalized that night for a concussion after he landed on his head during a shooting star press. The emotional match ended with Angle, who will have neck surgery next Friday, hugging his arch-rival.
The Rock defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was fired by WWE boss Vince McMahon the next night on RAW. Austin\'s neck problems have flared up again and his wrestling role will likely be limited, but you can bet he will likely raise a whole lot of hell in coming weeks.
McMahon lost his match to Hulk Hogan, despite interference by Piper. McMahon then got revenge by booting the Hulkster out of the arena and sending him home from the Smackdown! show. McMahon said he would hurt Hogan most by keeping him away from the fans he needs so much.
Stratus won the women\'s title in a three-way women\'s match against Victoria and Jazz. Stay tuned next week as this columnist goes 1-on-1 in an interview with Trish.
Other Wrestlemania results: Matt Hardy beat Rey Mysterio; The Undertaker, with minimal help from Nathan Jones, beat A-Train and The Big Show; Team Angle beat Los Guerreros and Rhyno and Chris Benoit; Shawn Michaels beat Chris Jericho (a post-match hug resulted in a kick to Michaels\' gonads); and Triple H beat Booker T.
Limp Bizkit rocked the show, but an appearance by the Miller Lite catfight girls bombed.
- Goldberg debuted on RAW, setting up his Backlash showdown with The Rock, who will leave soon after to begin filming a remake of Walking Tall.
- WWE.com reports that Angle\'s neck surgery, done by Dr. Jhae-Dong Jho in Pittsburgh, may keep him out just six weeks. There had been talk he would miss nearly a year.
- Christopher Nowinski is wearing a mask to protect an eye injury.
- With Goldberg signed, and rumours circulating that Lex Lugar could be next, there is talk that WCW may be brought back, perhaps also adding Sting to the roster.
- Sable returned on Smackdown!, laying a kiss on Playboy playmate Torrie Wilson. Sable, a former playmate, has signed a long-term deal.
- Piper\'s Pit will return to the next Smackdown!
- There is a Smackdown! tournament to decide who will face Lesnar at Backlash. The semi-finals are Undertaker vs. John Cena and Benoit vs. Rhyno.
- It wouldn\'t be surprising to see Kevin Nash return tomorrow on RAW ... as Diesel, the character which brought him notoriety in a previous WWF stint. Nash could team with Michaels and Booker T against Ric Flair, Triple H and Jericho at Backlash. The buzz is Nash was ready to return last week, but WWE creative forces felt they had enough on their plate with the budding feud of Goldberg and The Rock, who announced he was quitting. The Rock was then speared by Goldberg.