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Raw: Kane on the rampage
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight\'s stop on the Raw tour is Montreal, and you know what that means. Half of this report will be in French. No, the big question swirling around this show revolves around WWE history. Specifically, it has to do with something that happened in Montreal back in November of 1997. It isn\'t so much if, but when the Shawn Michaels-Bret Hart incident will play a part tonight - because you know Vince McMahon won\'t let it go. Watch for it, plus a certain rampaging unmasked bald guy as we head to the Bell Centre.

A recap of Kane and his new, mask-free life starts off the program. Special attention is paid to the vicious chokeslam he gave Eric Bischoff at the end of last week\'s show. Co-general manager Steve Austin comes out to a bigger reaction than the Expos are getting right now against the Phillies. He\'s all healed up from his bout of food poisoning and pretty amused by Bischoff\'s fate. Since Austin alone is in control, he wants to see an Intercontinental Title match. Can he see the contestants please?

Match 1 - Booker T vs. Christian - Intercontinental Title Match

Before we start, Christian has something to say. Since he feels he\'s better than Booker, he wants the ref to count him out so he can head to the back with his belt. Austin wants no part of this chicanery, so he modifies the rules to allow a title change on a DQ or count-out. The champ is still hesitant, but Austin throws him into the ring and the battle is on. Booker opens up on fire, hitting a sidewalk slam for two and dropping rights in the corner. Christian earns a couple of near falls, but soon falls victim to a series of kicks. The Spineroonie is interrupted but the scissor kick isn\'t, and the ref counts the three to give Booker the win. But wait! The ref notices Christian\'s foot on the ropes and orders the match to continue. At least, it continues after a short commercial break.

Did you guess we\'d return to see someone in a rest hold? Give yourself ten points, though Booker quickly escapes and nearly steals the win. The Book End connects a minute later but it\'s still not enough. Booker gets crotched on the top rope but escapes Christian\'s attempted superplex, then follows up with a missile dropkick. Finally the Spineroonie gets its chance to shine, though Christian regroups and almost wins with a low blow. Frustrated, the champ grabs his belt and tries to go the cheating route. Booker ducks, nails a scissor kick and gets the pinfall, for real this time.

Austin tells Mark Jindrak that he\'s getting a chance to wrestle Chris Jericho tonight. Before they can discuss the merits of the old Millionaire\'s Club-New Blood feud, a ref sprints up and tells Austin there\'s something he needs to see immediately. After the break, we find out what it is: someone has busted Tommy Dreamer open in the locker room. Man, if someone went running for management every time that happened in ECW, there never would have been time for any matches. Bubba Ray and Spike Dudley look on with concern as Dreamer is wheeled off on a stretcher.

Not even 30 minutes into the show, J.R. and The King make the first mention of Survivor Series \'97. Apparently Shawn Michaels will be talking about the incident tonight on Jericho\'s Highlight Reel. I hate to say I told you so. Meanwhile, Theodore Long leads Rodney Mack and Rosie to the ring for some reason.

Match 2 - Rosie vs. The Hurricane

That sounds like the title of a children\'s book. Rosie gets off early with a big legdrop; Hurricane hits the Overcast and jumps off Rosie\'s back to knock Mack off the apron with a Shining Wizard. The rally is short-lived though, as Rosie catches Hurricane coming off the top rope and pins him with a Samoan drop. That\'s that, except for some reason Rosie gets into an altercation with Long that ends up with Mack slamming Rosie into the steps. Whatever.

Bubba heads backstage to accuse Randy Orton and Ric Flair of the attack on Dreamer. Austin intervenes and tells Bubba he can round up a tag team partner to satisfy his need for revenge. Then Jackie runs in and tells Austin something has happened to Rico. No, not Rico! During the break, Rico turns state\'s evidence and rats out Kane as the culprit behind the attacks.

Match 3 - Victoria and Steven Richards vs. Gail Kim and Val Venis

Victoria impresses with an overhead press, then drops Kim on her knee. The new women\'s champ responds with a series of acrobatic moves and slaps Richards. The men do their thing for a bit until Venis connects with a sit-out power bomb. When the women return, Kim wraps things up with a hurracanrana pin.

As Trish Stratus warms up for her match (yes, that means another women\'s match tonight), Test decides to try his luck. When he won\'t take no for an answer, Kevin Nash steps up to defend the lady\'s honor. That leads to this mature exchange:

Nash: \"You want to pick on someone bigger than you for once?\".

Test: \"Fine, I\'ll see you in the ring\".

Emmy voters, cast your ballots now.

The crowd reveals its nature as decidedly pro-Y2J as Jericho comes out to introduce the Highlight Reel. Wait, what is Jericho talking about? Did Bret Hart get screwed in this city once? I never heard about that. Ah, but I kid the Raw report readers. Michaels comes out to a mixed reaction, but more boos than cheers. HBK says he intends to apologize because he is truly sorry about the situation with the Hitman. Even more so though, he\'s sorry that the Montreal fans never got on with their lives. It\'s a sentiment I agree with, but it doesn\'t play too well with the locals. Jericho calls Michaels a ýsanctimonious son of a bitchţ and wonders how everyone is just supposed to forgive and forget. HBK fires back by wondering why Mr. Canada lives in Florida, then offers a chance to avenge all Canadians by wrestling him tonight. Y2J refuses, saying the economy stinks and he would practically be wrestling for free. He\'d much rather take on HBK in two weeks in Hollywood. Mission accomplished - the fans are booing him now.

Coach stops Austin what he\'s going to do to stop the rampage. Giving the completely copout answer that he\'ll get to the bottom of it, Austin retreats to his office. One thing though - Kane\'s been sitting in his chair, and the Big Red Machine is still there.

It turns out Kane is thinking about quitting because people are making fun of him. As I ponder how wrestling storylines can possibly get this dumb, Stone Cold suggests that people will cheer Kane after what he did to Bischoff. Austin leaves him to decide if he wants to give the fans a shot to accept him or quit. If only I had that choice on this episode.

Match 4 - Test vs. Kevin Nash

I\'m guessing a lot of people at the show are using this opportunity to use the bathroom, so that\'s what I\'m going to do. I get back just in time to see Trish take a bump and Test win the match with a big boot.

Terri catches up with the new Intercontinental champion, and he\'s in a smiling mood. Booker invites Terri and everyone in the arena to hit the town and celebrate with him. And the way this show has hit the skids, I\'m guessing a number of those present try to take him up on that offer.

Match 5 - Chris Jericho vs. Mark Jindrak

Hey, no wonder Jericho didn\'t want to wrestle Michaels tonight - he already has a match. Jericho is all over the rookie early with a jumping kick and a bulldog, but Jindrak gets his knees up to thwart the Lionsault. He hits a back body drop and a dropkick but misses a cross body in the corner. The battle moves outside, then back in where Jindrak escapes the Walls of Jericho and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. The crowd chants ýboringţ through a couple more near falls, but Jindrak finally falls prey to the Walls and taps out.

Match 6 - Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus - Number One Contenders Match

Molly gets the upper hand as Trish sells the bump she took earlier. Trish reverses Molly\'s handstand move to get something going, but Molly hits a snap mare and a shoulderbreaker and locks in a submission move (like an inverted camel clutch) that makes Stratus submit.

Austin is watching on a backstage monitor, no doubt trying to figure out how he helped kill off what was a pretty live crowd when the show opened. He\'s surprised to find Kane lurking behind him, and the monster seems to indicate he\'ll go out in front of the crowd.

Main Event - Randy Orton and Ric Flair vs. Bubba Ray Dudley and Rob Van Dam

I was thinking Goldberg as the mystery partner but RVD works even better. Rob gets quick two counts against Orton with a cross body and a standing moonsault. Flair interferes to give Orton space to hit a cool looking neckbreaker. The heels trade off and isolate Van Dam, with Flair using the Figure Four and Orton also working the leg. Bubba finally gets the hot tag, hitting a sidewalk slam on Flair. A thumb to the eye slows Bubba down, but Flair soon takes his usual tumble off the top rope. Spike Dudley hits the scene to help neutralize Orton as RVD connects with a Five Star Frog Splash that finishes off the Nature Boy.

Kane knocks over a cameraman before the show goes to its last commercial break. Thank goodness.

Stone Cold enters the ring and calls for Kane. As Austin suspected, the fans cheer Kane on his way down. Austin says it\'s time for Kane to climb higher and laughs at the footage of the Bischoff chokeslam. Kane takes exception to the laughter and the two men come to blows. Austin takes a beating but fights back on the outside with a chair shot that busts open Kane\'s forehead. He gets back in the ring to hit a Stone Cold Stunner, but Kane sits back up quickly and drops Austin with a chokeslam as a very uneven edition of Raw bows out.

Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998, but will soon be unemployed for the first time since 1999. Send money.