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Raw: Heartbreak for Goldberg
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Sweet, sweet vehicular hijinks. Not since the heyday of Vince Russo, when almost every episode of Raw featured someone trying to run people over or destroy their cars, has there been anything like last week's limo wreck that saw Shane McMahon do a serious number on Kane. If car crashes are the key to WWE ratings, viewers should be flocking to their sets tonight to find out what's left of the Big Red Machine and where the Kane-Shane feud goes from here. Look for that plus the next chapter in the Goldberg bounty saga as Raw goes live from the home of Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena.

Terri leads off with Evolution's Ric Flair and Randy Orton. It seems Flair hurt himself at a house show last night, so he won't be able to make his scheduled match with Maven tonight. But that's alright, as his main objective is to find the right person to collect the $100,000 bounty on Goldberg, and he thinks he's found the man when Shawn Michaels arrives. The Nature Boy gives HBK an impassioned speech about how Shawn was and still can be the best wrestler in the world when he wants to be. Flair offers some serious financial incentive to find out, but Michaels backs away quietly without committing. Roll the intro.

An update on last week's Kane wreck is interrupted by Chris Jericho and Christian, who are in the ring once again to complain about the managerial style of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Jericho wants Austin recalled like a California governor, and that's not his only gripe. As footage rolls of Shane McMahon breaking Test's foot at a house show with a Van Terminator, the two Canadians also blame the Rattlesnake for the injuries to Kane and Test. That brings a personal appearance by Shane-O-Mac, who asks not to be lumped in with Stone Cold because he was proud to put Kane and Test on the shelf. Renee Dupree and Rob Conway of La Resistance come out to beg to differ, as they still have beef with Austin for setting up the match at Unforgiven that saw them lose the tag team titles. With all the testosterone in the ring you just know it isn't going to stay non-violent for long, and sure enough the heels decide to send Austin a message by attacking Shane. The Walls of Jericho are in full effect, but the Dudley Boyz fly down to the ring and send all four men scattering back up the ramp. Bubba wants to know if they're interested in a little tag match right now, but the Canadians and Frenchmen huddle and come up with a simple but eloquent response: no. Now that's just good heel wrestling. Meanwhile, out in the parking lot, Goldberg almost gets run over by a Cadillac. Like they used to say back on Twin Peaks, it's happening again.

Match 1 - Rob Van Dam vs. Scott Steiner - Intercontinental Title Match

Since Test is out of commission, Steiner gets to be the one to mistreat Stacy for a while. He grabs a steel chair and gives it to her, but makes it clear it's in case he needs it as a weapon and not to sit on. Pre-match posing ends with a Steiner kick to the gut and belly-to-belly suplex, but the champ rallies with a split-legged moonsault and a near fall. Big Poppa Pump hits a suplex and asks for the chair, but Keibler refuses to pass it in. Rob exploits the opening with a step-over kick, a jumping kick from the top rope and Rolling Thunder, then kicks Steiner to the floor. Van Dam ducks a chair shot, but Steiner evades a Van Daminator and hits on his second try, disqualifying himself in the process. He menaces Stacy in the ring for her uncooperative behavior until Austin's music hits and the Rattlesnake makes his way down. Asking what Steiner thinks he's doing, Stone Cold dares Scott to hit him. Steiner initially refuses but finally gives in and drops the co-general manager with a big right hand. That brings a smile to Austin's face, and he rises to back Steiner into a corner with right hands and do his infamous mudhole stomping. The assault continues with Steiner flying into the steps on the outside and getting choked with a cable. BPP eventually escapes by using Stacy as a shield and hightailing it up the ramp. Austin attempts to celebrate with Keibler with a few beers, but when it's clear Stacy isn't a beer drinker, he decides to serve her a Stone Cole Stunner instead. Smooth, real smooth.

Match 2 - Maven vs. Rico

Flair joins the announcers and plays up his injury, saying he would love to be in the ring against Maven tonight. Rico is all offense early with a little help from Jackie on the outside, but Maven soon stages a comeback that ends with an inverted bulldog off the top rope for a quick pin. Wait, what's this? It's a miracle - Flair is healed! Hallelujah! Ahem... the Nature Boy sprints to the ring and beats Maven with a crutch, then proceeds to foam at the mouth until some refs step in to intervene.

In his secret identity as Roosevelt the photographer, our favorite Super Hero in Training tries to get some exclusive pictures of Lance Storm. That ends quickly when Hurricane drops in and tells him to suit up, but not in the locker room. You see, super heroes change in phone booths. One just happens to be backstage, and young Roosevelt soon finds himself in a tight situation.

Next on the menu is another in-depth review of Kane's limo and truck collision, proving once again that the WWE will spare no expense to get multiple camera angles during a car wreck. Insert your joke about bad episodes of Raw here. Backstage, the Dudleys tell Shane that Austin has ordered Jericho, Christian and La Resistance to face the three of them and a partner of their choosing. And wouldn't you know it, the match will be a Tables Match. Elsewhere, Goldberg tells a stagehand to keep his eyes out for a Cadillac driver, then nearly gets crushed by falling junk. No, really.

Goldberg heads for the ring and tells anyone who might be interested in the bounty to come down and take a shot. Interestingly, no fans take him up on the offer. Michaels comes out and answers Goldberg's question about whether or not he can be trusted by saying that if someone offers him 100 grand, it doesn't mean that he'll take it. Then again, it doesn't mean that he won't. HBK's main beef stems from Goldberg spearing him last week, or more precisely his lack of remorse over doing so. The way Michaels sees it, he owes the world champ one. Any confrontation is postponed when Tommy Dreamer appears out of nowhere and tries to collect the bounty with a Kendo stick. That earns Tommy a one-way ticket to Spear-ville, but HBK ends up with the stick. Flair is ringside to urge him to use it, and Mark Henry and Theodore Long add to the chaos by coming down and stating their intentions to get the money. Finally, Eric Bischoff restores some semblance of order by making a handicap tag match pitting Flair, Orton and Henry against Michaels and Goldberg. It's tough, but I will resist the temptation to use any Kill Bill jokes here. Consider it my gift to you.

Match 3 - Chris Jericho, Christian and La Resistance vs. Dudley Boyz, Shane McMahon and Booker T - Eight Man Tag Team Tables Match

Oh yeah, Booker is back and the fans seem psyched about it. Christian wants no part of him. leaving Jericho to take his early kicks and chops. Quick tags are exchanged on both sides, and it's D-Von who finally gets trapped in the wrong corner. He eventually tags his brother, and Jericho and Christian try to leave as the faces clear the ring. Shane won't allow it, dragging Jericho back to the ring for a spear and a jumping back elbow. His run ends when he gets crotched on the ringpost, leading to the first appearance of a table and a wild brawl on the floor as we head to a commercial break. We return to find Shane still in trouble, though he manages to power out of Jericho's reverse chinlock and hit a DDT that leaves both men down. Naturally, Booker gets the hot tag and runs wild. A Christian low blow initiates a chain of signature moves that culminates in a Van Terminator by McMahon on Rene Dupree. Rob Conway drops Shane quickly with a neckbreaker, but he gets slammed and suffers the Whassup headbutt. Bubba and D-Von get the table, hitting Christian on their way back in. They both get attacked by a French flag-wielding Jericho, but Spike Dudley runs in and helps his brothers with a Dudley Dog. Conway rescues one of his partners by moving the table away from the Dudleys' 3-D, but Booker gets the last laugh by stepping in and sending Conway through the wood with a Bookend.

Rosey is still stuck, and the Dudleys, Booker and Shane are still in the ring celebrating. The Coach breaks up the party, saying it's his job to interview Kane via satellite from his hospital room. Shane opts to take that gig instead, getting his partners to forcefully escort Coach from the ring. Once Kane's room is patched in, Shane tells the monster that the feud can continue like this until one of them is dead, or they can settle it once and for all at Survivor Series. For the record, Shane says Kane cried like a little bitch when the limo raced for the big rig. An enraged Big Red Machine takes his anger out on his doctor and nurse - like you didn't see that coming.

Match 4 - Lita, Ivory and Trish Stratus vs. Gail Kim, Victoria and Molly Holly

I need a Stat Boy like they have on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. I would love to find out what percentage of Raws have a women's tag match of some sort, because it seems like it happens every week. Not too much new here, except Lita still looks a little rusty and Steven Richards interferes, breaking up a Stratusfaction and throwing Lita hard off the apron into the guard barrier. Stratus counters Victoria's finisher with a roll-up to get the pin, angering Richards and Victoria and causing them to administer a post-match beating. You know someone is coming to the rescue but might be surprised to see that it's Jericho, who gives a sly grin after he bails Stratus out of hot water.

In case you missed it, a replay shows the entire Austin-Steiner-Keibler segment again. Austin confronts Jericho about his actions with Trish, but Y2J just smirks and says he knows how to treat a lady, unlike the Rattlesnake. An annoyed Austin gets a tape from the guy who gave him a ticket in Chicago, blows off an interview with Terri and heads off to find some alcohol. And he doesn't even stop to help poor Rosey.

Flair and Orton get on the same page with Henry and Long. But if Henry and his manager didn't attack Goldberg tonight, who did?

Main Event - Mark Henry, Randy Orton and Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels and Goldberg

The Heartbreak Kid works with Orton first but seems more interested in going after Henry. Goldberg tags in to face Flair and shrugs off the legend's chops. Orton regains control for his side and gives way to Henry, who has HBK in trouble with a gorilla press slam. Michaels trades chops with Flair until a shoulderblock leaves both men down. The hot tag goes to Goldberg, who scoop slams Henry to set up a patented Michaels top rope elbow. As HBK takes out Evolution with a somersault plancha to the floor, Goldberg disposes of Henry with - what else - a spear and Jackhammer. The faces get their hands raised in victory but celebration is not in order as Michaels drops the world champ with some Sweet Chin Music. Bischoff loves what he sees, so much so that he books the two men to face each other next week with the world title at stake. And as they say, that's a wrap. Please tip your servers on the way out.

Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. He'd like to take this time to issue an open challenge for a steel cage match with the creator of the SoBig e-mail virus, if he's man enough to accept

.