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Raw: Rock shocks fans
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Raw is Foley. It has a nice ring to it, doesn\'t it? The fans sure thought so last week, when Mrs. Foley\'s baby boy showed up as an outside consultant and turned the show on its head by naming himself the new co-general manager. With just six days left until Armageddon (the pay-per-view, not the biblical one), don\'t expect Eric Bischoff to take this development lying down. Plus there\'s the little matters of Kane versus Goldberg and the Jericho-Trish and Christian-Lita romances that have to be settled. That\'s just a taste of what to expect as Raw comes your way from the home of the Mighty Ducks, the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.

Looks like romance will take top billing, because Chris Jericho and Christian are holding flowers and headed for the ring. They are set to face the Dudley Boyz for the world tag team titles, but first they want to address the rumors floating around that Trish and Lita are mad at them. Jericho says he\'s been calling Stratus all week and it\'s breaking his heart that she won\'t return his calls. The ladies in question come down the ramp looking none too pleased. Jericho wants to know what they did to get in the doghouse, and when Trish holds up a Canadian dollar, he insists that the bet he and Christian had over who could score first was simply a juvenile joke. The fans aren\'t buying it, as their \"a--hole\" chant attests, but Jericho pleads his case and begs Stratus to accept his apology. His answer comes in the form of a slap across the face, and both ladies start beating down their wanna-be suitors with the flowers. The men are about to fight back when the Dudleys come down to start the title bout.

Match 1 - Chris Jericho and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz - World Tag Team Title Match

The ladies stay at ringside to watch the champs take control early. Perhaps they\'re just dazed by those short shorts Bubba likes to wear these days. Showing a lot of leg doesn\'t save him from getting worked over in the heels\' corner for quite a while, though he finally hits a Samoan drop and makes the hot tag to his half-brother. D-Von almost gets Christian with a sidewalk slam, though Jericho makes the save. Tags are made again and Bubba misses Christian off the top rope, leaving him wide open for Jericho\'s Lionsault. Christian makes the cover but Bubba kicks out at two. A Bubba Bomb has Christian down again, forcing Jericho to drag referee Charles Robinson out of the ring to stop the count. The Dudleys regroup to knock down both of the challengers, and Lita and Trish lend a hand (or head in this case) by climbing opposite corners and delivering a double Whassup headbutt. A 3-D on Christian closes out the match and leaves Christian and Jericho wondering if the bet should have been for five dollars Canadian instead.

Ric Flair informs Evolution teammates Randy Orton and Batista that Triple H is in the building tonight, but has no plans on going near the ring since his plan is to let his Armageddon opponents Goldberg and Kane tear each other apart. Call me suspicious, but that sounds like an excuse for him not to be on TV tonight. Both of the junior members make the standard guarantees of pay-per-view victories. Elsewhere, Christian and Jericho are in Bischoff\'s face whining about their mistreatment by Lita and Trish. Bischoff is more interested in whether or not their bet was real; Christian says it was and he was about to seal the deal with Lita. Sure man, whatever you say. To make things right, Bischoff sets up a Battle of the Sexes Match for Sunday pitting Jericho and Christian against Trish and Lita. Christian loves the idea, but Jericho appears to have some reservations. Like Sears, Jericho apparently has a softer side.

Match 2 - Batista vs. Rob Van Dam

As you would expect, this is largely Batista\'s power against Van Dam\'s speed and creativity. Rob looks to be in trouble when he ends up in the Tree of Woe, but he kicks his way out and launches a somersault out of the corner that leaves both men down. A step-over kick and Rolling Thunder both find the mark, but Batista only stays down for two. Van Dam connects with a jumping kick off the top and sets up for a Five Star Frog Splash, but Flair\'s presence on the apron forces him to take a detour. The ref takes a bump on Rob\'s way back into the ring, and Batista sets up for his finisher. RVD escapes in what looks like half-counter, half-blown spot, but he\'s popped in the face by Flair when he attempts a split-legged moonsault. Batista drops his sit-out power bomb and the ref revives in time to count the three.

Match 3 - Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak vs. Val Venis and Lance Storm

Just to set the record straight, Cade grabs the mic and says that they were not whining last week when they demaded a rematch with the Dudleys, just pointing out that the champs cheated. That\'s just in case anyone cares. Storm takes the brunt of the offense, though he manages a dropkick and makes the hot (maybe lukewarm in this case) tag to Venis. Val scores a couple of near falls and is about to go for a Russian leg sweep when Cade runs in to bail out his teammate. Jindrak rolls up Venis with a handful of tights and gets the pinfall. Not whiners perhaps, but definitely cheaters I\'m afraid.

Kane talks to no one in particular about a German shepherd that annoyed him as a kid and how he killed it and left it in the woods to rot. Somehow thia has something to do with worls, maggots, the fans and Goldberg. Yummy!

Co-GM Foley makes his way down to an ovation from the crowd, and he\'s once again nattily dressed in a suit. Mick says he wants to make things right, and Flair interfering in the Orton-RVD intercontinental title match at Armageddon would not be right. He figures the match needs a special referee, and after consulting with himself for hours, he decides he\'s the right man for the job. Next on the agenda is the petition to bring back Austin, which has allegedly received over 500,000 online signatures already. As I\'m wondering whether or not I buy that figure, Foley\'s attempt to get more sigs from the Anaheim fans is interrupted by the arrival of La Resistance. Rob Conway and Rene Dupree are a little peeved that Foley embarrassed them last week and have come to return the favor. Saying that Bischoff has assured their jobs are safe, they want Foley to salute the French flag or catch a beatdown, French style. Not surprisingly, Foley won\'t do it, telling the boys to bring it on.

La Resistance has Foley backed into a corner when some familiar music hits that hasn\'t been heard in a while: it\'s The Rock! The crowd erupts as the People\'s Champ makes his return to Raw. But The Rock is a little confused. He knows his friend Foley, he knows the fans, he knows Lillian Garcia and the cross-dressing cameraman, but he doesn\'t know the Frenchmen. Ah, but it doesn\'t matter who they are. The Rock calls La Resistance a little \"fi-fi\" and says they are about to get their lips slapped off their faces. Dupree bravely gets in his face, but that simply earns him a few more classic Rock insults. Foley laughs that LR is no match for the Sock and Rock Connection, and Rocky is just about to debate him over who should get top billing when the heels decide to attack. The Rock is tossed from the ring and Foley gets stomped into a corner. That doesn\'t last long though, as Rock storms back and plants Conway with a Rock Bottom and Dupree with a spinebuster. Dupree also gets a People\'s Elbow, then The Rock sets up Dupree so Foley can do his own, slightly more awkward version of The Rock\'s finisher. The Great One draws the line at Foley stealing his catchphrase though, if you smell what The Rock is cookin\'. As he signs the Austin petition, I find even my living room is breaking out the \"Rocky\" chant. Good stuff.

Of course there\'s always a party pooper in any crowd, and Bischoff fits that role to a tee. He tells Coach that he just had The Rock escorted from the building by security. On what grounds? Making the show more entertaining? Bischoff also decides to make tonight\'s main event a lumberjack match and says he\'s picking the lumberjacks himself.

Match 4 - Booker T, Hurricane and Rosey vs. Scott Steiner, Test and Mark Henry

We can\'t head into Armageddon without one of these, I suppose. Henry showcases his strength in the early going, getting the rather large Rosey up for a spinebuster before we go to a commercial break. We return to find Booker in trouble and the crowd riding Steiner mercilessly. Book launches a desperation spinebuster on Test and crawls to tag The Hurricane, who has a brief spurt of offense stopped by Test\'s full nelson slam. A series of signature moves leaves Henry and Booker staring each other down. A kick to the face stops Henry temporarily, and Booker follows Test over the top rope with a clothesline to the floor. Hurricane and Henry are apparently the legal men in this mess, and the super hero connects with a neckbreaker off the top rope. It\'s not enough though, as Henry gets the submission with the most affectionate finisher in wrestling, the bear hug. Booker gets his own hug after the bell. Hugs for everyone!

In the least surprising move of the night, Bischoff gets Batista, Orton, Flair and Henry to be lumberjacks. We also get the obligatory rundown of the Armageddon card, which seems okay but leaves me wishing the last pay-per-view of the year could be a dual brand affair.

Match 5 - Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Molly Holly and Victoria

Naturally, Jericho and Christian are watching from the ramp. Victoria has Stratus in trouble several times, and Lita has to save her from a Molly power bomb as well. Lita is tagged in but her offense is halted by the sudden arrival of former beau Matt Hardy. The heels hit a double slam on the distracted Lita and Molly covers to get the duke.

Main Event - Kane vs. Goldberg - Lumberjack Match

It\'s power versus power as Kane sends Goldberg to the floor, then wisely steps back and watches as the lumberjacks tear into him. The world champ is sent back in where a big boot leaves him scrambling to kick out at two. A brief rally ends with Goldberg being sent to the floor for a second round of abuse. Kane gets another near fall and locks on a sleeper, but his chokelsam attempt is countered by a fireman\'s carry. The challenger is sent to the floor but the lumberjacks won\'t touch him, so Goldberg takes his anger out on them. When the match goes back inside, Orton and Batista decide to bring the assult in there too, earning a disqualification for Kane. It\'s five on one for a minute, but RVD, Booker and Shawn Michaels all fly from the back to aid the world champ. Shawn\'s Sweet Chin Music knocks Kane right into a spear, and the show comes to an abrupt end. Got to make way for the Video Game Awards. See you next week after Armageddon... if there\'s anything left. Bwah-ha-ha!

Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. He\'s hoping the WWE doesn\'t throw out the Austin petition when they find he\'s signed it 128,937 times under different names.