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Tuesday, Feb. 20
The Indiana Daily Student

Rikishi returns on Raw is War

Raw provides new opportunities, no excitement

This past Monday on TNN's "Monday Night Raw," Rikishi returned to WWF action after some time off because of an eardrum injury. In Rikishi's first night back, he found himself in the main event against Stone Cold Steve Austin. \nThe show started with Mick Foley being the first to enter. Trying to get a quick plug in on his new book, "Foley Is Good." When Vince McMahon found out Foley was in the ring, he quickly made his way there with Stephanie McMahon and William Regal.\nVince ordered Rikishi to drop Foley like a bad habit, but Rikishi dropped Regal instead. Because of this, Vince ordered Rikishi to face Austin in the main event.\nThe main event held little surprises. Other than Rikishi giving the "stink-face" -- where he places his butt into his victims faces-to Stephanie, nothing exciting came out of the main event. With a little help from his friends, Stone Cold came away with a clean victory, and walked out of the arena retaining his WWF Championship. But the more interesting plot turn of throwing Rikishi back into the mix was what held the night in suspense. \nNo other option existed for the WWF to turn Rikishi into a good guy -- at least for now. If you noticed Monday night, Rikishi came out to his old music, which would indicate some turn of a sorts, whether it's a face or a heel turn has yet to be fully determined. The WWF is short on good faces right now, and Rikishi would fill that void nicely, but with the past that Rikishi has with Austin and Triple -- remember the plot to run over Austin and send him away for a year -- it would not be a surprise to anyone to see some deeper plan in the works. With Vinnie Mac running the show now, and Linda McMahon and Foley attempting to regain control, we should see something major go down within the next few weeks, if not at Judgment Day itself. As the saying goes in the WWF, anything can happen.\nThe rest of the night saw little in the manner of plot development. A table match between the Dudleys and X-Factor saw little Spike Dudley perform an "acid-drop" over the apron to Albert through a table. A steel cage match -- usually reserved for main event matches -- was brought in to further the heat between Regal and Jericho. Jericho came away victorious, but the WWF fans were left puzzled as to why they would waste a cage match on these two. It seems to me that this angle has been played out to its maximum, and they should bury it before it becomes too repetitive-if it isn't already. \nThe rest of the night lacked significantly from the physical aspect as Undertaker, Kane and Triple H saw no real action. Perhaps coming off of the United Kingdom pay-per-view, "Insurrextion," played a role in the absence of much action last night. Kurt Angle wasn't even in the arena long, and Chris Benoit mocked him from afar by placing Angle's gold medals down his pants, but the WWF seemed to lack because of the UK scheduling, which was expected. \nWhether or not more story lines are going to be developed are yet to be determined. With the absence of The Rock filming another movie, the WWF has big shoes to fill. Austin and Triple H are carrying the company right now. Rikishi will help carry the load, but more superstars are going to need a big push to get to the top.

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