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COMMENT





Raw: Foley foils Bischoff
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Bischoffmania is running wild on Raw. And unlike Hulkamania back in the day, this isn\'t good for the fans. Without Stone Cold Steve Austin to check his power, Bischoff is free to run things the way he sees fit, and most of the time, his way involves sticking it to the fan favorites. Indeed, he\'s openly gloating at the top of tonight\'s telecast about arranging a main event that will pit Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam against Evolution\'s Randy Orton and Batista as well as the Big Red Machine, Kane. We\'ll see what other dastardly tricks Bischoff has up his sleeve as Raw hits Sacramento, California, live on Spike TV.

World heavyweight champion Goldberg heads to the ring to start the show. The way he sees it, either Triple H or Kane is jumping him from behind every week. To avoid that happening again, he suggests that either or both of them come to the ring to settle their differences with him face to face. Unofrtunately, Bischoff has other ideas, which he makes perfectly clear as he also steps inside the squared circle. Eric says it\'s no longer Raw, but the Eric Bischoff Show, and there\'s nothing anyone can do about it.

Some familiar music might mean differently - it\'s Mick Foley, dressed unusually dapper in a suit and tie. The hardcore legend says that Linda McMahon and the Board of Directors has been a little worried with some of the decisions that Vince McMahon has been making, so they hired Foley as an outside consultant to make any changes to Raw that he deemed necessary. His first change is to even up the main event by adding Goldberg to the face side. His next move is to demand the return of Austin, and though he admits Stone Cold wasn\'t quite right for the co-Gm role, he circulates a petition among the Sacramento fans to get Austin hired back in some capacity. Last but definitely not least, he names himself co-general manager of Raw. Oh, and Eric... have a nice day!

Still reeling from the bombshell in the first segment, The Coach asks Bischoff what he\'s going to do to respond. He decides to call Linda McMahon, but she apparently hangs up on him. That tends to happen when you call someone you\'ve made unwanted sexual advances on in the past. Not that I\'d know or anything.

Match 1 - Dudley Boyz vs. Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak - World Tag Team Title Match

Bubba shows some disrespect for Cade by smacking him around in the opening moments, then D-Von tags in and scores a pair of near falls. Cade tries to steal the match with a roll-up and a handful of D-Von\'s pants, so Dudley returns the favor with a roll-up and grab of his own to get the pinfall. Cade grabs the mic and demands an instant replay on the Titan Tron, and the footage shows both sides did a little cheating. The young challengers demand a rematch, though the crowd doesn\'t seem too crazy about the idea. Oh, and Garrison... crack kills.

Foley bumps into Coach and Snow backstage and wants to relive old times. Mick says people often ask him about the most painful injury he\'s ever suffered, but the new co-GM thinks all of them pale in comparison to listening to Coach and Snow broadcast Raw for a week when J.R. and The King were fired. To prevent that from happening again, Foley books a match between Coach and Lawler, with Snow banned from ringside. If Coach loses, he\'s fired.

Match 2 - Booker T vs. Test

Stacy tries to rally the crowd to Booker\'s side, much to the continuing dismay of Test. Both men escape each other\'s finishers, but Test manages to hit his second attempt at a pumphandle slam. He puts his feet on the ropes to get extra force on the pin but is thwarted by Stacy. Booker pins Test soon after with a scissor kick, then celebrates with a Spineroonie. But wait, there\'s more. Book asks the fans if they want to see a Legseroonie, and Stacy obliges with not one but two attempts to mimic Booker. Mark Henry breaks up the party with a vicious clothesline and not one but two World\'s Strongest Slams.

Cue TLC because it\'s time for girl talk. Lita asks Trish Stratus about her blossoming relationship with Chris Jericho, but she deflects it with her own inquiry about Lita and Christian. Trish says she\'s never felt the way she does about Y2J and shows her a Team Canada hockey jersey she\'s had made especially for the self-proclaimed King of the World. She also shows off the bra she\'s thinking about wearing underneath and says she thinks tonight might be the night. After the commercial break (best spent taking a cold shower this time), Terri interviews Orton and Batista. The biggest member of Evolution proves he\'s learned Heel 101 by saying he should have taken Michaels\' head off last week, he\'ll definitely finish him tonight, etc., etc. And in case you are wondering, you can log on to WWE.com to sign the Austin petition or write the company via snail mail. I promise not to laugh at you if you do. At least not so you can hear...

Test and Scott Steiner drag Stacy back out to the ring, and they are not happy. To teach Stacy how to behave, they plan on taking a page from Mr. McMahon and reopening the Kiss My Ass club. Foley comes to the stage and issues an executive order for Stacy to come and consult with him. He says the two heels will never mistreat Stacy again and fires both of them to make sure. Stacy literally does cartwheels before Mick carries her off. Maturally, Test and Steiner go crying to Bischoff, who says he\'ll call Vince McMahon and try to fix the situation. When they leave, Eric tells someone off camera (but who sounds a lot like Kane) that he\'ll fix the problem himself. Out with the announcers, Foley admits he\'s drunk with power and just can\'t stop firing people.

Match 3 - Val Venis and Lance Storm vs. La Resistance

Foley makes the curious statement that he thinks La Resistance has serious face potential, possibly starting tonight. Uh, okay. Storm tags in and takes it to Rob Conway, rolling into a half crab. Rene Dupree makes the save, but Venis and Storm hit a cool two-man finisher a minute later to get the duke. Mick wants to make an announcement after the match, and he tells La Resistance that everyone will cheer for them if they do one simple thing. He leads the fans in the Pledge of Allegiance, though he notices Conway and Dupree aren\'t really participating. Foley shows his true colors by firing the duo and marching down to the ring to the tunes of patriotic music.

Stratus and Jericho get a little mushy on their way to the ring. Ewww...

Match 4 - Trish Stratus and Chris Jericho vs. Miss Jackie and Rico

Will someone please tell me the rules for a mixed tag team match? J.R. always says the other man is automatically in when one man tags in, and that the genders can\'t touch each other, but neither of those rules ever seems to be true. Of course, this is wrestling. The action heats up when the women are in, and Jackie actually has Trish in some trouble. Finally she hits a desperation spinebuster and makes the tag to Jericho, who goes back and forth with Rico but finally neutralizes him with a slingshot plancha to the floor. Back in the ring, Trish secures a win for the Canadian side with a Stratusfaction, then walks off happily with her new boyfriend.

Bischoff is still whining to someone, and the camera pulls back to reveal that it is, in fact, Kane. Apparently a rumor is going around that Foley is looking for a way to strip Kane of his title shot at Armageddon. Or at least that\'s what Bischoff wants Kane to think.

Match 5 - Matt Hardy (Version 1.0) vs. Christian

A bunch of people are asking me when Hardy Version 2.0 will be out, but I haven\'t found a release date yet. Christian powers out of an abdominal stretch but falls prey to a top rope legdrop, though he manages to kick out. Hardy gets another two count and heads out to confront Lita at ringside. Christian stops him and drags him back into the ring for some near falls of his own. He\'s about to hit the Unprettier when Molly Holly ambushes Lita and throws her into the steps. Hardy uses the distraction to roll up Christian and steal the win.

Match 6 - Jerry \"The King\" Lawler vs. The Coach

Lawler lays into Coachman with punches and a suplex. A fistdrop wraps it up in quick fashion. Oh, and Coach... \"Na, na, na, na. Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye!\"

The card for Armageddon is shown so people can start thinking of reasons not to watch it. Seriously, it\'s not looking like a classic. Christian and Jericho are comparing notes back in the locker room, with Jericho bragging that he\'s been making out with Trish for three weeks and Christian claiming he\'s rounding third with Lita and headed for home. Finally, the dastardly plan of the young Canadians is revealed: they have a one dollar (Canadian!) bet on who can score first. It\'s all laughs inside, but Startus has been waiting outside and she\'s a little - make that a lot - upset. Stay tuned.

Main Event - Batista, Randy Orton and Kane vs. Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels and Goldberg

Van Dam and Orton start things off as the announcers wonder when The Game will arrive. Van Dam\'s onslaught makes orton roll out to the floor, where he\'s promptly nailed by a cross body off the top. Batista tags in and overpowers RVD, and he gets worked over in the heel corner for a bit before making a lunging tag to Michaels. HBK drops an elbow off the top and punches Ric Flair, then gets his clock cleaned by Kane right before we have to break for a commercial. When we return, Kane scores a near fall on Michaels with a big boot, then Batista tags in as the fans chant for Goldberg. Michaels escapes with a thumb to the eye and a low blow, finally making the hot tag to the world champ. Goldberg presses Orton into a front powerslam and motions for Kane; the monster tags himself in and the fight is on. Goldberg takes quick advantage, battering Kane in the corner, hitting a spear and preparing for a Jackhammer. Orton and Batista jump in and chaos erupts. While Goldberg and Kane battle into the crowd, Van Dam hits Rolling Thunder on Orton and almost gets the three before Flair pulls the ref out of the ring. Rob counters the RKO with a spinning heel kick, then follows with a Five Star Frog Splash but there is no ref. Foley slides in and makes the count and our heroes win.

Epilogue:

Bischoff tells Van Dam to scram because he wants to talk to Foley alone. He rips into Mick, saying he\'s ruined the show in one night and calling him worse than Austin ever was. He\'s especially upset about all of the firings, reminding him that Paul Heyman will be happy to snatch up the performers for Smackdown as soon as their releases are signed. Foley says he won\'t actually be signing any releases, as he just wanted to teach Bischoff a lesson about greed. Mick vows to give the people what theyt want, including Goldberg versus Kane on next Monday\'s show. For now, Foley lays out Bischoff with a right to the head and pulls out the much-missed Mr. Socko to finish him off. A very Foley-centric Raw comes to a close as we sign off from Sacramento.

Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. For a detailed explanation of what it means to be \"rounding third and headed for home,\" hit him up at ntylwalk7@yahoo.com.