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Raw: Stone Cold GM
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Sunday at Backlash, Goldberg made his in-ring debut and sent The Rock packing - literally, since the People\'s Champion is headed back to Hollywood. Tonight on Raw, Goldberg might have something to say about his big win, or possibly why the \"Goldberg sucks\" chants were so loud during the match. Chris Jericho is all set to debut his new Hi-Lite Reel segment too, as Raw goes live (except in Canada) from the Fleet Center in Boston.

The Y2J countdown means we\'re kicking things off with Jericho\'s new baby, which looks like a talk show from the two chairs and mics set up in the ring. Dissing Piper\'s Pit, Jericho says he feels Raw deserves a hipper, better show. Thus we have the \"Hi-Lite\" Reel. And to set it off right, the first guest is an old friend from the WCW days: Goldberg. The first question is one of those \"he didn\'t just say that\" deals, as Jericho asks why Goldberg ducked his repeated challenges in WCW? Da Man simply reples that he\'d be happy to kick Jericho\'s butt now. But we\'re on to more questions, like who the hell does Goldberg think he is and why is he in the WWE? No time to answer, as Christian\'s music hits. He\'s got an even tougher question...How did it feel to be booed by all those people? Goldberg responds that the people pay their money and can react any way they want, but his job remains to destroy anyone in front of him. That doesn\'t placate Christian, who complains that no one wants Goldberg in the WWE and produces Three Minute Warning, Rico, Victoria and Steven Richards as evidence. Goldberg tells the six heels they can come to the ring if they have a problem, and with strength in numbers on their side, they head down. The trouble is, only Richards climbs in the ring. You know what happens next - Richards gets speared and everyone else turns chicken. Poor Stevie has to be helped from the ring.

Match 1 : The Hurricane vs. Chief Morley

The Chief mocks Hurricane\'s super hero poses but gets a taste of his own medicine when \'Cane uses his cape to mock the old Val Venis gimmick. Morley gets the first near fall with a double underhook suplex, then follows with a surfboard. Two rolling vertical suplexes keep the ball rolling, but the third gets reversed into the Eye of the Hurricane. A neckbreaker can\'t keep Morley down, so Hurricane goes for the Shining Wizard. The Chief reverses it into a big sit out power bomb that nearly seals the deal. Morley goes up top but misses, leaving him dead meat for the Overcast. The three count gives our hero the victory.

Serious ego stroking is underway as Triple H and Ric Flair admire each other. Helmsley has a special treat for the Nature Boy tonight, since he\'s arranged for a world tag team title match with Rob Van Dam and Kane. After the break, we get the strangest WWE merchandise promotion of all time. Yes folks, it\'s the WWE Yearbook 2003. Now you too can get Stone Cold to sign your yearbook. \"Hey Nick. Never forget the good times in Dr. Smith\'s seventh period Bio class.\" Weird.

Match 2 : Rodney Mack vs. Random Jobber

The second week of the Five-Minute White Boy Challenge is more of the same. More babbling by Theodore Long, more offence by a nameless jobber, more time taken by Mack to get the win - but he does win in 1:58 with a running powerslam. Long brings out the lady who \"turned Backlash into Blacklash\" and a celebration of Jazz\'s win ensues, complete with black, red and green balloons.

We can\'t forget about the other participant from the women\'s title match at Backlash. Trish Stratus visits Eric Bischoff to inquire about the possibility of a rematch with Jazz. The general manager seems receptive to the idea, but there\'s a catch. There\'s always a catch with Bischoff. If Trish beats Eric in a match tonight, she\'ll get her rematch next week. Ah, but if she loses, she\'ll have to spend some quality time in Bischoff\'s hotel room, if you get my drift. Next we head to another episode of \"As the Test Bores\". Despite Test\'s objections, Stacy has set up a tag team match with Scott Steiner as his partner.

Match 3 : Triple H and Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam and Kane World Tag Team Title Match

Kane watches Flair style and profile until both men yield to their partners. RVD kicks Triple H to the floor and sends himself diving after him. The scene switches to a room backstage, where Shawn Michaels is telling someone on a cell phone \"he\'s a sitting duck.\" We\'re left to ponder who that might be as the show heads to a commercial. We return to find Triple H in trouble, but the world champ hits a spinebuster and tags Flair. A lengthy sequence sees the heels working over Van Dam\'s left leg. The hot tag is finally made so Kane can clean house. Flair feels the jumping lariat but The Game makes the save. A Pedigree is countered with a backdrop; Kane can\'t capitalize because both of his opponents chop block his legs. RVD hits Rolling Thunder to save Kane from a Figure Four, but Triple H follows with a DDT. A Pedigree finds its mark just as Kevin Nash\'s music hits. Big Daddy has a sledgehammer with him, and he \"chases\" Helmsley to the back. Meanwhile, there\'s still a match to finish. A chokeslam and a long Five Star Frog Splash take care of that, with Kane pinning Flair to retain the belts. The slow chase continues as Triple H hops into a limo and speeds away, but not before Nash smashes two windows with the sledgehammer.

Match 4 : Christopher Nowinski and Rico vs. Scott Steiner and Test

Big Poppa Pump tosses Nowinski around and manhandles Rico, at least until the heels can regroup and double team Steiner on the outside. Test and Stacy argue leaving Steiner without help. He finally hits a desperation suplex and tags in Test, who gets in a little offense before the tide swings back against him. Steiner makes a blind tag to get back in and quickly ends the proceedings with his new finisher, an inverted DDT. Test seethes as Stacy celebrates with BPP.

But wait, there\'s more. La Resistance makes a live appearance for the first time, taking exception to Steiner\'s remarks about France a few weeks back. The two Frenchmen get immediate heat from the crowd as they leave Steiner flat on his back. Remember, Vince never met a nationalistic, ethnocentric angle he didn\'t like.

Morley cackles as he tells Bischoff that he\'s suspended the Dudley Boyz indefinitely (again), but his boss is too busy thinking about getting \"Stratusfied\". Elsewhere, Booker and Goldberg reunite, and Booker tells Goldberg not to worry about the jealousy of midcarders while he pays his dues. I\'m paraphrasing slightly but that was the gist.

Match 5 : Booker T vs. Christian

Booker gets off early but his foe comes back strong. Christian finds himself on the wrong end of several near falls, though he finally rallies and tries for the Unprettier. Booker escapes, hitting a scissor kick and performing the ever-popular Spineroonie. Three Minute Warning is not impressed, as Rico and the boys head down to kick the crap out of the five-time WCW champ. As expected, Goldberg comes to the rescue with a spear for Rico and a jackhammer for the massive Jamal. Christian knocks Goldberg to the floor before he retreats, but can\'t believe his eyes as Goldberg spears Rosie through the security barrier. The crowd goes nuts as Goldberg exits through a throng of fans. I have to give credit where it\'s due, and this is the right way to push Goldberg.

Main Event : Trish Stratus vs. Eric Bischoff : No Disqualification Match

Note that I am using the term \"Main Event\" as loosely as possible, and I am shocked - shocked I tell you - when the GM makes it no DQ. Trish gets in the first kick, but she soon finds herself under attack by Victoria and Jazz. The new women\'s champ nails Stratus with her finisher on the floor and in the ring before leaving. All Bischoff has to do, besides gloat, is cover Trish to get the three count. More gloating ensues, but the smile leaves Bischoff\'s face in a hurry when the TitanTron shows Linda McMahon heading for the ring. There\'s some serious backpedaling going on now.

Linda Mac tells the fans that she\'s here to speak for the Board of Directors, and that one of her jobs is to monitor the performance of management. Since Bischoff prefers to conduct his business in public, she summons him back to the ring for her announcement. Calling Eric\'s behavior unprofessional, abusive, harassing and egomaniacal, Linda mentions that some board members consider the GM unfit for his job. Fortunately for Bischoff, a compromise has been reached, and a new general manager will be starting tomorrow and share power fifty-fifty. Bischoff protests, but Linda will hear none of it, saying that the new GM knows right from wrong and will definitely keep him in check.

The suspense ends when breaking glass brings Steve Austin to the ring. Stone Cold does his usual posing return to thunderous applause, then grabs the mic and asks Bischoff to shake his hand. Hurt that Eric appears not to trust him, Austin reiterates that he wants the arrangement to work and if they shake, they will be fifty-fifty partners. Bischoff relents but soon finds himself regretting it when Stone Cold quips that the key word was \"tomorrow.\" The crowd goes home happy as a Stone Cold Stunner ends this edition of Raw on a high note.

Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor and utility infielder since 1998. He\'s currently hoping Canadian high schools have yearbooks so his reference doesn\'t go awry.