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Raw: Goldberg down but not out
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Previously on Raw, Goldberg got the beating of his life from Triple H and his running buddies in Evolution. Now he faces the prospect that in six days at Unforgiven, his brief WWE career may come to an end at the hands of The Game. Throw in the latest between Kane and Shane McMahon, Christian and Chris Jericho and feuding announcers and you've got yourself the recipe for tonight's broadcast. We're going collegiate as Raw hits the airwaves from the Carolina Center at the University of South Carolina.

We start at the top as the world champ bumps into Eric Bischoff backstage. The co-general manager says he hopes Triple H understands how the mystery partner process unfolded on last Monday's show, and adds that he's betting on Helmsley to win the main event at Unforgiven. Reasoning that tonight will be Goldberg's last appearance on Raw, the YJ Stinger pitchman gets Eric's permission to throw a going away party for his foe.

Meanwhile, we have the world's smallest protest going on in the ring as Christian and Chris Jericho march with signs that say, "Fire Austin" and "Drunk With Power." Jericho's beef is his rough treatment by Stone Cold last Monday, while Christian is upset that he was kept off the SummerSlam card and still doesn't have a match for Unforgiven. The Canadians chant "Stone Cold must go" until the Rattlesnake finally comes to the ring. Austin is a bit miffed that his show is being held up, and still bemoans the fact that the best solution to the problem - a personal ass-whooping - is unavailable to him. He does grant Christian's wish for a match at Unforgiven and ask if either man wants to physically provoke him, but he gets no takers. Stone Cold also has a plan to give Jericho a title shot, but only if he wins a number one contenders match against someone who doesn't whine: Rob Van Dam.

Match 1 - Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam

Van Dam shows few ill effects from his run-ins with Kane as he hits a somersault dive to the floor that takes out both Canadians and ushers in a commercial break. We return in time to see RVD score a near fall, then get another with a hurracanrana pin (that J.R. calls a moonsault). Christian gets involved by knocking RVD off the top rope to the floor, where Jericho sends him into the steel steps. Rob rallies with an assortment of kicks, Rolling Thunder and a slingshot legdrop. His jumping kick from the top rope also connects, but Jericho kicks out. Y2J escapes a monkey flip and looks for the Walls of Jericho, but Van Dam counters with an inside cradle for another two count. RVD's next kick takes out the ref, and Jericho hits a bulldog but can't hit the Lionsault. The Five Star Frog Splash is countered by raised knees before Christian runs in and drops both men with belt shots to the face. The bell rings but Austin is quickly on the scene, booking Christian to face Van Dam and Jericho in a triple threat match for the intercontinental belt on Sunday.

Match 2 - Spike Dudley vs. Rob Conway

Poor Spike is porting a neck brace as a result of La Reistance's botched power bomb through a table spot last week. If you missed it, I'll sum it up by saying wrestling may not be "real," but it sure looks like it hurts sometimes. This match is really just an excuse for Conway to power bomb little Spike through a table following a quick pinfall via a neckbreaker. If you check HotJobs.com right now, the WWE just posted "designated power bombee" as a new opening.

Speaking of job openings, Coach and Al Snow are still planning on creating their own by beating J.R. and Jerry Lawler on Sunday to become the Raw broadcast team. And in their case, Raw broadcast team takes on a very literal meaning. Bischoff tells the duo that everything is in place for the scheme they've cooked up for tonight, whatever that might be. A letter arrives informing Bischoff that two half-naked women are waiting in his office, so he excuses himself.

Unfortunately for Bischoff, the two women in question are the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. Moolah wants to celebrate her 80th birthday in her hometown with a wrestling match. An amused Austin tells Bischoff to give her a good luck kiss, but Eric gets a smooch from Mae instead. I think she likes him.

Match 3 - Victoria vs. Fabulous Moolah

Yet another candidate for the "yes, you read that right" file, but at least it's a short match. Victoria is so busy attacking Mae on the apron that Moolah is able to schoolboy her and get the pinfall. That infuriates Victoria, who resumes her attack until Randy Orton arrives to make the save. Orton says a legend like Moolah doesn't deserve treatment like that. But since he is the Legend Killer, Orton quickly turns and drops Moolah with an RKO. Happy birthday indeed.

Believe the hype? We take a walk down memory lane as footage is shown of Goldberg giving The Giant (now known as The Big Show) a Jackhammer at my favorite WCW pay-per-view, Road Wild. Yeah, outdoor wrestling events in the middle of a gigantic biker rally... that's good stuff.

Match 4 - Lance Storm and Goldust vs. Rodney Mack and Mark Henry

Storm has some snazzy new entrance music and his newfound dance moves, but the South Carolina fans don't seem to be feeling him as much tonight. Some people just don't know good entertainment. The match doesn't last long anyway, with Henry finishing off Goldust with the World's Strongest Slam.

Evolution congratulates Orton, so I guess Flair and Helmsley disagree with me on whether or not hitting an 80-year old woman with your finisher is an accomplishment. While the others leave to plan Goldberg's party, Orton runs into Shawn Michaels. Randy claims to be anxious to face HBK on Sunday so he can use Shawn as a stepping stone to further his career. Michaels fires back by saying there was something he used to do to see if people were ready for HBK, punctuating his point by slapping Orton in the face. He tells the youngster that if he's going to step, step hard.

From the ever popular period of time known as earlier today, we see Hurricane unsuccessfully attempting to teach Rosie to fly until the sidekick gives up and calls for a cab. Terri catches Molly Holly and Gail Kim on their way in and asks for details of their plan to end Trish Stratus' career. Get ready - it's a handicap match! Yep, that sounds really scary.

Back in the present, Bischoff sets up the ring for the contract signing between Kane and Shane McMahon. The Big Red Machine comes out and quickly signs on the dotted line, then Shane-O-Mac steps into the ring. The Boy Wonder knows Eric set the match up in the hopes that he gets annihilated, and he admits that might happen. But he vows that if he's going down, he'll take Kane with him. Shane signs the contract, but Kane trashes the table and looks like he wants to go right now. McMahon feigns a retreat, then flies at Kane as Bischoff bails out. Kane has no chance against three low blows, a low kick and a knee to the groin. Looks like he might want to start wearing the Big Red Cup. Shane rains down chair shots on the outside, then clears off an announce table (funny because there are no Spanish announcers at Raw) to deliver his signature top rope elbow through the table. Shane's triumph only lasts a few minutes, though, as Kane sits up in time to stare at his foe on the ramp. After a word from our sponsors, another "Believe the Hype" video shows us Goldberg versus The Rock from last April. Heh, I almost forgot about The Rock. Who's betting he'll be ready to return to WWE action after he sees the first weekend take (or lack thereof) from The Rundown?

Match 5 - Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly and Gail Kim - No Holds Barred Handicap Match

The heel ladies try to dump Trish to the floor as they did last week, but she lands on the apron and starts taking it to Molly. Back and forth action features a number of near falls, but Molly finishes the match with a Molly-Go-Round. Unsatisfied, Holly and Kim hit a double DDT and set up a pair of chairs for something that looks dangerous. It's about this time that it would be nice for someone to come to Stratus' aid. Someone, like say, Lita? Yes, Lita makes her return a memorable one by hitting a DDT on Molly and a power bomb on Kim, then returning to Molly to deliver a Twist of Fate.

As you might expect, Holly and Kim complain to Bischoff about Lita, but Eric doesn't have any answers since he fired her a while back. That would be Austin's cue to enter, so he can explain that he rehired Lita and booked her to team with Trish to take on Molly and Gail at Unforgiven. Kim says she can't believe she slept with the wrong co-GM, or words to that effect.

The Coach and Al Snow make their way down the ramp, dressed more or less like J.R. and The King in an obvious attempt to spoof the announcers. They settle in at the remains of the table Shane smashed and order the mics of the regular announcers cut so they can give the fans a preview of what they say will be the new announce team as of next week.

Match 6 - Val Venis vs. Test

Venis gets the early upper hand by reversing a pumphandle slam into a sit-out power bomb for two. Test responds by knocking the ref into the ropes, crotching Venis in the process. Stacy makes the save and runs for her life, and Test is dissuaded from chasing her when Scott Steiner comes down the ramp. That allows Stacy to crotch Test and leave him helpless to be pinned by a chokeslam from Venis.

The smoke is barely clear from the previous match when Lawler steps in the ring to challenge Al Snow to a match right now. Snow accepts, but not before another commercial break and a third "Believe the Hype" promo, this time showing Goldberg running wild at SummerSlam.

Match 7 - Al Snow vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler

Coach joins J.R. at his table so he can torment him for a bit. Make that a short bit, as Lawler counters a suplex with an inside cradle for a quick victory. Showing his frustration, Coach gives J.R. a cheap shot from behind and runs off.

There's always time for one last pitch for the pay-per-view, so J.R. and The King run down the Unforgiven card. Backstage, Austin stops Evolution and tells Flair and Orton that since they can't interfere on Sunday, they should let the champ handle Goldberg's party alone as well. Triple H hesitates for a second but tells his teammates that he's got it.

The world champ sarcastically asks the fans for the Goldberg chant he hears everywhere he goes. He wants an especially big one tonight since Goldberg will be gone from the business come Sunday night. To set the party mood, balloons, confetti and glitter fall from the sky. H's promo is cut short for a bit by a faulty mic, but he gets a new one in time to unveil his retirement gift for Goldberg - a picture of Evolution beating him bloody last Monday. Trips goes to the Titan Tron to show footage of special Goldberg moments, which again consist of Evolution's assault. He wants to see it one more time in slo-mo, but Goldberg appears on the Tron to offer a special moment right now. Goldberg runs to the ring and the two exchange blows, with Goldberg getting the advantage and flooring Triple H with a gorilla press slam. And that's all she wrote, save for some posturing as Raw fades out. See you in Chocolatetown.

Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. Watch for him to challenge Coach in a Loser Leaves town match in the Giant Center parking lot on Sunday.