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Undertaker rules
Rebuffs challenge from Van Dam

By KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

 There would be no changing of the guard on this night. In these parts, The Undertaker still reigns supreme.

 Despite getting pushed to the brink on five separate occasions by budding superstar Rob Van Dam, The Undertaker was able to earn a pin-fall and secure his WWE Undisputed Championship last night before 6,300 rabid fans at the Winnipeg Arena.

 The intense 15-minute main event featured the brute strength of the champion and the sheer athleticism of the challenger, all in the confines of a 15-foot high steel cage.

 Van Dam was able to get one foot over the cage twice and nearly exited a third time, but was unable to get both feet to the floor.

 At two other points during the match, RVD had Undertaker running but could only get a two-count.

 Just when it looked like RVD might sneak out of the cage a third and final time, The Undertaker turned the tables and knocked him out with the Last Ride before hooking the leg for an easy three-count.

 In the final match of the evening, Stone Cold Steve Austin overcame outside interference from WWE co-owner Ric Flair to defeat Eddie Guerrero in a 25-minute marathon.

 By the time Austin left the ring to a heroes send-off, he had delivered five Stone Cold stunners -- three to Flair and two more to Guerrero.

 One of the stranger series of events during the evening saw the WWE Hardcore championship change hands three times in less than a minute.

 Steven Richards entered the ring as the champion and left as the champion, but did manage to relinquish the belt in a hard-fought match with Tommy Dreamer.

 As Dreamer was celebrating his good fortune, he was blind-sided by Raven -- who stunned Dreamer with a DDT.

 Before Raven could bask in the glory, Richards caught him with a quick pin-fall and rushed to the backstage area before losing the title yet again.

 Trish Stratus, the proud Canadian from Toronto, held on to the WWE Women's title with a sound victory over Molly Holly.

 William Regal, the WWE European champion, kept his title with a victory over Spike Dudley.

 Regal then gave his friend Brock Lesnar a helping hand by diverting the attention of Bubba Ray Dudley, who fell victim to Lesnar's impressive finishing move, the F-five.

 Speaking of getting a little help from his friend, the Big Show was aided by NWO teammate X-Pac before putting Bradshaw down for the count with a choke-slam.

 In the inter-gender match, Jacqueline followed up her near fall by pinning Crash with a small package that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

 Shawn Stasiak and D'Lo Brown defeated Goldust and Justin Credible and Booker T outlasted Matt Hardy.

 While wrestlers backstage did pushups, pumping themselves up before entering the ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin said his preparation are limited to a bit of stretching and "drinking a bunch of coffee."

 He also makes sure he puts his right boot on first -- his only superstition. About 230 days of the year, Stone Cold is on the road. It's a schedule that can be a grind, he said.

 "It's a grind but that's what we do," he said. "The most fun is when the bell starts and the match begins ... We have some of the greatest fans in the world."

 Wrestler Goldust was ready to hit the ring, after putting on his make-up, which takes 20 minutes -- "just like a woman," he joked.

 He said he was looking forward to some hissing from the crowd.

 "Making people hate me. If I do that, I'm doing it right," said Goldust, adding his eight-year-old daughter, who is "going on 30" thinks he's got a cool job.

 --With files from Katie Chalmers


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