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WWE Raw 2007


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- Raw is seen by Mr. McMahon as World Wrestling Entertainment's flagship programme over its sister programs, Friday Night SmackDown and ECW, this is due to its longer history and Vince’s personal preference over the other brands.

Vince McMahon's flagship show is suffering.

- There have been chants of TNA at WWE Pay-Per-Views, House shows and television tapings.

- Raw’s dip in ratings has been the most alarming - ECW remained fairly consistent at 1.5 (much better than the network expected) and Smackdown’s rating was slightly improving week-to-week due to its reputation as WWE’s best wrestling show.

- The last few brand Pay-Per-Views were among the least bought of recent times (New Year’s Revolution and No Way Out) and even the annual Royal Rumble did poorly in sales compared to UFC offerings in the same months.

- TNA are slowly growing, piece by piece. They had acquired genuine main event talent in Christian Cage, Sting, Kurt Angle and TNA (and ROH) protégée Samoa Joe. TNA also managed to gain several more two hour shows as they looked for ratings to improve.

- The negative crowd reaction to John Cena remained through Wrestlemania. This was becoming a concern for backstage officials; at first against Jericho, Angle, Edge and Triple H it was seen as a positive step to create a wrestler who was controversial but the Wrestlemania main event saw Cena wildly jeered by all sections of the crowd and this was not in the game plan.

- Internet reports often predicted that established WWE superstars such as Rob Van Dam, Chris Benoit, Edge and Shelton Benjamin were looking for a way out to TNA or onto the independent circuit because of unhappiness.

- With profits falling Vince McMahon scrambled in his brain for the answer, even early estimates of Wrestlemania purchases were low. Then it hit him, the answer was simple…maybe too simple. There was one angle Vince had played off many times in the past but it had never been really delved into in a way that the fans could connect with. It was the single biggest incident to ever happen in the entire history of World Wrestling Entertainment and now McMahon needed it to bring his WWE back to the promise land. One man and one man alone was crucial to the storyline and it’d take a mammoth McMahon effort to bring him onboard but he spent all of Wrestlemania night on the telephone and somehow got the answer that he wanted…

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Our journey will start the night after Wrestlemania 23 so here are the happenings between the Royal Rumble in January and Wrestlemania on 1st April 2007.


28 January 2007

AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas

Interpromotional Tag Team Match

MNM (Johnny Nitro & Joey Mercury) w/Melina vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff)

The Hardy Boyz defeated MNM by pinfall following a Swanton by Jeff Hardy on Johnny Nitro.

ECW World Championship

Bobby Lashley © vs. Test

Bobby Lashley defeated Test by count out to retain.

World Heavyweight Championship

Batista © vs. Mr. Kennedy

Batista defeated Mr. Kennedy by pinfall following a Batista Bomb to retain.

WWE Championship - Last Man Standing

John Cena © vs. Umaga w/Armanda Alejandro Estrada

John Cena defeated Umaga to retain after choking him unconscious with a loose ring rope in his STFU submission hold.

Royal Rumble Match

Ric Flair, Finlay, Kenney Dykstra, Matt Hardy, Edge, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Gregory Helms, Shelton Benjamin, Kane, CM Punk, King Booker, Super Crazy, Jeff Hardy, The Sandman, Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Rob Van Dam, Viscera, Johnny Nitro, Kevin Thorn, Hardcore Holly, Shawn Michaels, Chris Masters, Chavo Guerrero, Montel Vontavious Porter, Carlito, The Great Khali, The Miz & The Undertaker

Undertaker won the Royal Rumble, last eliminating fellow veteran Shawn Michaels by countering the Sweet Chin Music and tossing Michaels over the ropes to the floor.

Raw/ECW/Smackdown Update for between Royal Rumble and No Way Out...


John Cena & Shawn Michaels became World Tag Team Champions over Rated RKO as Edge & Orton began having problems continuing from the Royal Rumble. The issues between Jeff Hardy and Johnny Nitro continued as Nitro continually came up short in his efforts to become Intercontinental Champion again. The Great Khali has become Mr. McMahon's personal enforcer and has joined Umaga in being McMahon's back up. The tag team division underneath Cena/Michaels and Rated RKO has exploded with Cade & Murdoch, Cryme Tyme, World's Greatest Tag Team and the Highlanders gaining wins over each other as they jockey for the next title opportunity.


Hardcore Holly is being built as Bobby Lashley's Wrestlemania opponent with big wins over Rob Van Dam, Test, Sabu and CM Punk. The ECW Originals are continuing their crusade to rid ECW of the newcomers. They have been attacking the likes of Matt Striker, Mike Knox and Rene Dupree. 'The Alpha Male' Marcus Cor Von has remained undefeated, his latest win over Danny Doring. ECW’s new representative to replace Paul Heyman was announced as Shane McMahon, who Mr. McMahon sent to ECW to ensure the brand becomes a rival the other two brands.


The partnership between Royal Rumble Winner Undertaker and World Heavyweight Champion Batista has dominated Smackdown in the build up to No Way Out. Kane and King Booker's experience at the Royal Rumble has led to their match at No Way Out. Mr. Kennedy appears to be on his way to a full face-turn, his rivalry with old partner MVP has been revisited as Kennedy is receiving more and more cheers from the Smackdown fans. Matt Hardy cannot get Joey Mercury out of his life. Everywhere Hardy has been he has been followed by the Smackdown half of MNM along with his protective face mask.


18 February 2007

Staples Center in Los Angeles, California

Finlay vs. The Boogeyman

Finlay defeated The Boogeyman with his signature Celtic Cross following an attack with his shillelagh as the referee was distracted by Little Bastard.

WWE Tag Team Championships:

Paul London & Brian Kendrick © w/Ashley Massaro vs. Deuce & Domino w/Cherry

Kendrick & London retain the Tag Team Championships when Paul London pinned Deuce following a 450 splash.

Kane vs. King Booker w/Queen Sharmell

A match made out of the Royal Rumble where King Booker was eliminated by Kane and returned to the match to toss Kane out. Kane pinned King Booker following a chokeslam despite repeated Queen Sharmell interference.

WWE United States Championship:

Chris Benoit © vs. The Miz

The Miz gained this title shot as a result of defeating Matt Hardy on Smackdown. Benoit retained easily with his Crippler Crossface, not quite matching his Summerslam time against Orlando Jordan but somewhere close.

Dance Competition

Jillian Hall, Kristal Marshall & Ashley Massaro vs. Leyla, Kelly Kelly & Brooke

Jillian Hall, Kristal Marshall and Ashley Massaro from Smackdown took on ECW's Extreme Expose in a Dance Competition, which the Smackdown trio won by way of crowd vote.

Mr. Kennedy vs. Montel Vontavious Porter

Kennedy put MVP away with his Kenton Bomb.

Matt Hardy vs. Joey Mercury

Joey Mercury gained a measure of revenge in his mind for the injuries suffered back at Armageddon at the hands of the Hardy Boyz as he defeated Matt Hardy with his feet all over the ropes.

Interpromotional Tag Team Match:

John Cena & Shawn Michaels (World Tag Team Champions) vs. The Undertaker & Batista

John Cena pinned Batista for the victory after mis-communication between him and Undertaker led to Batista being nailed with a running boot into Cent’s FU. Batista then blamed Undertaker for the loss and shoved him, Undertaker responded with a chokeslam.

Raw/ECW/Smackdown Update for between No Way Out and Wrestlemania 23...


On the home stretch to Wrestlemania the WWE Championship match has been in the thoughts of everybody. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon then made a fatal four way, pitting the WWE Champion John Cena against the last 3 Raw participants in the Royal Rumble match - Randy Orton, Edge and Shawn Michaels in a fatal four way elimination match. Rated RKO earned the early momentum, regaining the World Tag Team Titles from Cena & Michaels. Johnny Nitro managed to hold onto his no.1 contender slot to the Intercontinental Championship despite challenges from Chris Masters, Super Crazy and Kenny Dykstra. Raw's Money In The Bank representative was Carlito. Ron Simmons was 'injured' at the hands of Chris Masters and the Masterlock as Masters looked to prove his legitimacy. The Trump/McMahon rivalry continued until a match was announced for Wrestlemania, both men to find a representative to put the issue to bed on the grandest stage of them all.


With ECW joining the Wrestlemania party for the first time, almost all of their television programming was dedicated in some way to WM 23. Hardcore Holly was named ECW World Title contender for Lashley at Wrestlemania and then Holly sat on commentary for three weeks while Lashley put away various opponents. Rob Van Dam was recruited by Donald Trump for the match with Mr. McMahon's representative Umaga. Two ECW Originals Sandman & Dreamer won tag team matches. Marcus Cor Von defeated Sabu and CM Punk defeated Test to qualify for the Money In The Bank.


The Undertaker officially announced his intentions to fight Batista at Wrestlemania in the main event. They jockeyed for the momentum going into this match, both remaining undefeated between No Way Out and Wrestlemania. The United States Champion Chris Benoit and the determined Mr. Kennedy both qualified for the Money In The Bank with wins over Chavo Guerrero and Matt Hardy respectively. A three-way rivalry developed between Finlay, Kane and King Booker which was added to by MVP's apparent want to join forces with King Booker. A mysterious deal was concocted between Theodore Long and Coachman to allow three Smackdown superstars into the Money In The Bank ladder match rather than the original two, MVP benefited. The Smackdown tag teams matched Raw's tag efforts as Regal & Taylor, Deuce & Domino, WWE Tag Champions Kendrick & London all put on great matches against each other. Benoit lost the United States Championship a week before Wrestlemania to MVP.


1 April 2007

Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan


Kane vs. Finlay vs. King Booker

Three of Smackdown's finest opened Wrestlemania in Detroit, a hard hitting match followed with an appearance by the Little Bastard too! Little Bastard terrorised Queen Sharmell before King Booker got hold of him and whipped him into a Kane chokeslam on the Little Bastard. While the referee was rolling him under the ropes to the outside, Finlay blasted both of his opponents with his shillelagh. MVP came to the ring to try and help King Booker but Kane quickly took him out. Finlay got a near fall on King Booker and was then subject to a chokeslam for a Kane win. Could the Brothers of Destruction start and end Wrestlemania with wins????


Jeff Hardy © vs. Johnny Nitro w/Melina

Early in the match Melina was sent to the back by the referee for constant interference, which left Nitro to do it on his own. Johnny Nitro put on the performance of his career, coming so close to becoming the new Intercontinental Champion but the resilient Jeff Hardy fought back at every avenue. Hardy won the match after rolling Hardy up in a victory roll! After the match Matt Hardy came to the ring and congratulated his brother on the defence of his title.


Kendrick & London (WWE Tag Team Champions) w/Ashley Massaro vs. William Regal & Dave Taylor vs. Cryme Tyme vs. Deuce & Domino w/Cherry vs. Highlanders vs. Cade & Murdoch vs. World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Sandman & Dreamer

A special late addition to the Wrestlemania card was this tag team battle royal between teams from Raw, Smackdown and ECW. The Highlanders were eliminated first, they began fighting among themselves aswell as the other teams and were picked off by Cade and William Regal. Second team to go was Deuce & Domino despite Cherry's efforts to cheer them on. Cryme Tyme and Cade & Murdoch eliminated each other on opposite sides of the ring. Showing their credentials for a two-on-two WWE Tag Team Championship shot William Regal & Dave Taylor tossed out Kendrick & London. ECW representatives The Sandman & Dreamer were next to be eliminated by WGTT. This left two teams, the World's Greatest Tag Team and Smackdown's Regal & Taylor. Taylor tossed Shelton Benjamin over the top rope but Shelton held on! Taylor and Regal thought they had won but Haas joined the surviving Benjamin to throw the Englishmen over the top!


Donald Trump's Representative - ECW's Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. McMahon's Representative - Raw's Umaga w/Armanda Alejandro Estrada

With both McMahon and Trump at ringside, Van Dam used all of his aerial offence to keep Umaga on the back foot until Umaga caught RVD in mid-air and delivered a Samoan Drop to stop Van Dam's attack. Umaga dominated the ECW Original as he targeted Van Dam's neck to set him up for the Samoan Spike. Van Dam fought back, taking it to the air once again but RVD went for his diving kick from the top rope only to be blasted with that Spike and Umaga covered RVD for three.


Raw's Carlito vs. ECW's Marcus Cor Von vs. Smackdown's Mr. Kennedy vs. ECW's CM Punk vs. Smackdown's Chris Benoit vs. Smackdown's MVP

The Great Khali entered also at the start of the match seemingly angry he didn't have this opportunity, he put a heavy beating for 5 minutes on all of the Money In the Bank competitors before it took all of the six men to hit their finishing moves on him in succession for Khali to be left down on the outside as the ladders came into play. After a battle among the original six, Mr. Kennedy suplexed MVP off the top of the ladder to pull down the briefcase!


Bobby Lashley © vs. Hardcore Holly

Hardcore Holly's big roll in ECW had built him up for this challenge but it was the former Army sergeant who dominated most of this match, finally putting Hardcore away with a Running Powerslam.


Rowdy Roddy Piper with...Kevin Federline!

An unadvertised treat for the fans was the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper returning to WWE after surgery to conduct a Piper's Pit with K-Fed himself. Federline did not endure himself to the WWE fans as he mocked his former opponent John Cena. Suddenly glass shattered and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin came down to the ring to give a Stone Cold Stunner to Federline and share a beer with Hot Rod! Austin and Piper left the ring, leaving Federline on the mat. Out next was John Cena and he found a groggy K-Fed in the ring! Cena delivered an FU on Federline!


John Cena © vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge vs. Shawn Michaels

Randy Orton was the first eliminated by his own Rated RKO tag team partner Edge after Rated RKO dominated the early going with their teamwork. Edge then turned on Randy Orton with a devastating spear and the pinfall. Shawn Michaels soon after nailed his Sweet Chin Music on Edge and Cena made the Canadian superstar tap out to his STFU. A lengthy battle followed between HBK and Cena with Michaels several times almost winning. John Cena eventually retained with an FU on Shawn Michaels.


Batista © vs. The Undertaker

With the Undertaker's undefeated streak at Wrestlemania on the line in addition to Batista's World Heavyweight Championship this match was a titanic tussle between two big men. Batista hit all of his trademark moves - a military press slam, a spinebuster and his Batista Bomb but still he could not put away the Deadman. Undertaker rallied back with a chokeslam followed by a Tombstone Piledriver to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion!

Edited by CraigOrion
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I agree, it's not realistic but I think it'll be fun to play around with and write. The basic premise is that you (the reader) are aware of Hart being back with WWE but the in-game wrestling audience is not. As for Shawn Michaels, the WM 23 WWE Championship fatal four way was an elimination match. Randy Orton was eliminated first, then Edge and then finally Michaels by Cena.

Promotion Information:

Owner: The McMahons

Money: $10,000,000

Public Image: 70

Size: Global

Based In: America

Risk Level: 75%

Production Values: 100%

Merchandising: 100%

Advertising: 100%

Top 5 Faces:

1. Triple H

2. Shawn Michaels

3. Ric Flair

4. John Cena

5. Jeff Hardy

Top 5 Heels:

1. Vince McMahon

2. Edge

3. Randy Orton

4. Umaga

5. Johnny Nitro

WWE Raw Active Roster:

Faces Heels Tweeners

Main Eventers:


John Cena

Randy Orton

Shawn Michaels

Triple H (injured currently)

Upper Midcarders:

Ric Flair




Chris Masters

Jeff Hardy

Johnny Nitro

Kenny Dykstra


Shelton Benjamin

Torrie Wilson

Lower Midcarders:

Charlie Haas


Jim Duggan


Lance Cade


Robbie McAllister

Rory McAllister

Scotty 2 Hotty

Shad Gaspard

Super Crazy

Trevor Murdoch

Val Venis




Beth Phoenix

Candice Michelle


Armando Alejandro Estrada - Handler of Umaga

Melina - Manages Johnny Nitro

The Great Khali - Mr. McMahon's Bodyguard


Jerry Lawler - Commentator of Raw

Jonathan Coachman - Raw Executive Assistant

Kevin Federline - Celebrity Guest

Vince McMahon - Chairman of WWE

Tag Teams:

Cade & Murdoch - Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch

Cryme Tyme - JTG & Shad Gaspard

DX - Triple H & Shawn Michaels

Highlanders - Rory & Robbie McAllister

Rated RKO - Edge & Randy Orton

World's Greatest Tag Team - Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas


Howard Finkel

Jim Ross

Lillian Garcia

Steve Romero

Todd Grisham

Current Champions:


WWE Champion: John Cena


WWE Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Hardy


World Tag Team Champions: Rated RKO - Randy Orton & Edge


WWE Women's Champion: Mickie James

Edited by CraigOrion
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Bret would never come back to the WWE, and if he did, he has said in the past he didn't want to be on-air anyways. But I'll let that slide for now.

If you wanted to finish the Hardy/Nitro feud, you should've just involved Mercury/Matt to kill two birds with one stone. They weren't doing anything else at WrestleMania, and Hardys/MNM would've been much better then another Nitro/Jeff match.

Finley is spelt as Finlay.

I'll keep reading, just to see how this pans out.

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Thank you for your initial thoughts, the Finlay error has been corrected in the update post.


WWE Draft

The annual WWE draft is due to take place in a triangle system. 4 from each brand will move around in this system (12 in total):

2 from ECW to Raw

2 from ECW to Smackdown

2 from Raw to Smackdown

2 from Raw to ECW

2 from Smackdown to Raw

2 from Smackdown to ECW

These moves will take place starting (tonight) the night after Wrestlemania on Raw and conclude at Raw's Pay-Per-View Backlash.

It was also noted that NO Championship will switch brands, should a title holder be drafted then he or she would be stripped of that title but awarded a shot at an equivalent title on their new show. Also, for the first time since the initial draft lottery tag teams are eligible to be drafted together (due to Edge spearing and eliminating Orton in the WM title match Rated RKO refused this right).

Edited by CraigOrion
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Guest Rabidwolverine36

I like it man, interesting to see whether it matches up to HOF Wrestling. Good concept and since its a diary I believe it can happen. You got a reader.

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Papa Roach’s “To Be Loved” thunders around the arena as pyro dazzles the fans in attendance! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentators. They welcome us to Raw where tonight we will see a Major Announcement from Vince McMahon to shake up the entire WWE and a Six-Man Tag Team Main Event featuring WWE Champion John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Carlito up against Rated RKO and Umaga!

An Old Rivalry?

WWE Raw opens with the charismatic WWE Champion John Cena! Cena comes out to a huge reaction from the crowd as he salutes in Marine fashion. Cena heads for the ring slapping hands with as many fans as he can reach as we see clips from Wrestlemania’s WWE Title match where Cena defeated Shawn Michaels. Cena climbs in the ring to celebrate retaining the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania with his 'Chain Gang'! Cena quickly pays compliments to Shawn Michaels, saying that HBK’s challenge was the most difficult match he has ever had. Cena continues to talk himself up until Cena is interrupted by Kevin Federline! America’s Most Hated is back on Raw to say that Cena wouldn't have retained if he weren't being attended to backstage thanks to 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's blindside assault on him! Cena challenges K-Fed to come down to the ring and fight him, K-Fed starts to walk down but then backs up. Federline instead introduces somebody who wants to fight Cena...Raw’s Rated ‘R’ Superstar - Edge! Edge and Cena renew their rivalry, Edge runs down to the ring and the two men go at it! Cena delivers hard right hands to Edge but Edge comes back with a rake of Cena’s eyes! Edge prepares for a spear but officials and backstage agents pour out of the entrance to break up the fight as we cut to a commercial break.

Torrie Wilson vs. Beth Phoenix

Back from the commercial JR and Lawler are still trying to get their breath back from an awesome start to Raw. Beth Phoenix is returning to Raw after a fractured mandible and she looks mean. Beth Phoenix goes straight to work on Torrie Wilson, nailing Wilson with a series of right hands before sending her sprawling back to the ropes. Phoenix choked Torrie against the middle rope before viciously kicking away at her back. A dazed Wilson is dragged up for Phoenix to nail with a big dropkick. Torrie Wilson tries to mount a fight back but she has been dominated in this match, Beth Phoenix blocks her feeble comeback and drives her down to the ground with a gutwrench suplex. Phoenix rubs Torrie’s face into the mat before dragging Torrie to her feet and scooping her up in Beth’s Down in Flames finishing move. Beth Phoenix pins Torrie for the three count.

Winner - Beth Phoenix by pinfall

McMahon’s Announcement

The Chairman of WWE’s music hits and the famous strut to the ring is seen. McMahon is in a good mood, something probably to do with Umaga defeating Donald Trump’s representative Rob Van Dam last night at Wrestlemania. McMahon praises himself for beating Donald Trump at Trump’s own game and then continues on to say that he’s going to make history once again. McMahon announces that the WWE Draft will take place starting tonight LIVE on Raw and end at the upcoming Raw brand Pay-Per-View Backlash. Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long, ECW’s new representative Shane McMahon and Raw’s Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman will each gain wrestlers from the other two brands. The other specifics of the draft are available right now on WWE.com but things will all become apparent over the next few weeks.

Val Venis vs. Chris Masters

‘The Masterpiece’ Chris Masters, who was not in action at Wrestlemania, next came to the ring where he found Val Venis. Val controls for the early going, the former Intercontinental and European Champion keeping Masters on the move so the powerful young superstar can’t gain any footing. Masters responds with a low blow out of view of the referee and then slows down the pace of the match. Masters knocks Venis down with a hard clothesline and poses to the crowd, who respond in jeers. Chris Masters lands a succession of high impact moves, drilling Venis into the mat with a backbreaker and a delayed vertical suplex. Masters pins Venis for several near falls but can not put him away. Masters allows Venis back into the match, arguing with the referee about the speed of his count. Venis spins Masters around and goes to work with knees to the stomach, then right hands to Masters’ face. Venis knocks Masters down with a series of running clotheslines before going up top. Venis attempts his ‘Money Shot’ but Masters moves out of the way! Masters locks in the Master Lock and Venis submits.

Winner - Chris Masters by submission

Eugene & Jim Duggan vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch

Cade and Murdoch are clear favourites in this match, them being a more regular team than Eugene and Duggan. Eugene’s spell of angriness seems to be pretty much over as Duggan looks to have got through to the youngster. Eugene starts the match for his team and locks up with Cade. Cade is moved into a headlock and then Eugene embarrasses Cade by holding onto his hair when he tries to push Eugene to the ropes. Eugene holds onto his long blond hair as Cade again tries to push him off. Cade's third attempt is successful, he manages to lift Eugene up and suplex him down to the canvas. Lance Cade unloads with several vicious elbows dropped down across Eugene's chest. Cade makes a quick tag to Murdoch and the bitter-looking trucker comes in to deliver heavy boots to Eugene's face. Murdoch pins for just two. Trevor Murdoch picks Eugene up and tosses him into the Cade/Murdoch corner as they look to cut off the ring. Murdoch strikes Eugene down before tagging back Cade. Lance Cade and Murdoch whip Eugene across the ring, then knock him down with a double shoulder block. Murdoch is sent to the apron by the referee as Cade takes over on Eugene. Cade locks in a sleeper but Eugene fights back! Eugene escapes and back body drops Cade to the mat. Eugene makes the pin but Trevor Murdoch comes in illegally to break up the cover and he gets a Rock Bottom from Eugene for his troubles! Cade is back up and Eugene connects with a Stone Cold Stunner! Eugene is left hurt on the mat and he crawls to his corner...to tag Duggan! 'Hacksaw' builds up a head of steam to shoulder charge down Murdoch and then Cade! Duggan knocks them both down one more time with a double clothesline before belting out his signature "HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!". On the apron Eugene has Duggan's 2 x 4 and offers it to the WWE veteran but Duggan shakes his head. Duggan persuades Eugene to put the 2 x 4 down at risk of disqualification. Eugene drops the weapon and then blind-tags himself back in. Duggan reluctantly leaves the ring as Eugene attacks Murdoch but Cade is the legal man and he spins Eugene around. Murdoch and Cade back into the ropes, Eugene doesn't know what is happening until it's Sweet and Sour! Cade makes the pin for three as Murdoch ties up Duggan.

Winners - Cade & Murdoch by pinfall

Chris Benoit on Raw?

A video package airs of Chris Benoit. The former United States, Tag Team, Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Champion is seen winning each of his titles against men such as Randy Orton, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho.

Jeff Hardy vs. Viscera (Non-Title)

The World Largest Love Machine is waiting in the ring as the music of Jeff Hardy sounds throughout the arena. The reigning Intercontinental Champion appears to a huge ovation. Hardy makes his way down to the ring and nervously looks across the ring to see the big Viscera staring at him. Referee calls for the bell and Hardy immediately goes on the offensive, delivering big swinging right hands to Big Vis. Viscera is dazed as Hardy backs into the ropes for momentum. Jeff attempts a dropkick but Viscera swats him away. Viscera lands a big elbow drop, all 485 pounds dropping straight south across the frail body of daredevil Jeff Hardy. Viscera gets cocky, taunting Hardy and live crowd with his swooning movement. Viscera attempts a second elbow drop but Hardy slides out of his way. Hardy jumps up to the second turnbuckle and knocks Viscera down with a cross body! Hardy stomps away at Viscera before Vis kicks him away. Viscera is back up and dangerous, he knocks Hardy down with a clothesline but Jeff gets back up showing his resilience. Viscera attempts a rolling heel kick but Hardy ducks out of the way. Jeff Hardy leaps up onto the top rope for his Swanton Bomb but Johnny Nitro is running down to the ring! Nitro jumps up onto the apron and Jeff drops down from the turnbuckle. The referee tries to get Nitro down but Jeff does it for him, knocking Nitro to the floor with a dropkick! Hardy then turns into a sidewalk slam from Viscera! Vis covers for one…two…th-kick out as more referees arrive to escort Nitro away. Viscera grabs the referee to protest about the count, he spends several moments getting angrier but then turns around into a DDT from Hardy! Hardy goes to the top rope for the Swanton Bomb and the pinfall quickly follows. Jeff Hardy’s arm is raised but he snatches it away to motion for Nitro to come down to the ring…

Winner - Jeff Hardy by pinfall

Raw’s First Draft Pick is…

With Nitro still being held back, Jonathan Coachman appears on the screen. He says that he was very happy to learn of Raw’s first newcomer…JOEY MERCURY! Jeff Hardy can hardly believe it as a smirk appears on the faces of Johnny Nitro and Melina! Mercury jumps over the announce table behind Hardy with his protective mask in hand and he nails Jeff in the back of the head! Nitro breaks free and runs to the ring, he joins his MNM team-mate in kicking the life out of Hardy before the officials and referees catch up. They surround the grounded Hardy so MNM can’t get their licks in. Melina, Nitro and Mercury head to the back looking pleased with themselves.

Super Crazy vs.Kenny Dykstra

After another commercial break, Kenny Dykstra comes to the ring in his hot pink wrestling attire. Super Crazy then makes his entrance to a positive reaction. Kenny and Super Crazy lock up with Kenny going behind into a waistlock. Kennedy takes Crazy down and then slaps him around the head. Kenny is arrogant as he gets back up and motions for Crazy to do the same. Crazy and Kenny lock up again, Kenny Dykstra applies a headlock and then shifts around into a hammerlock. Crazy reaches underneath to grab the leg and sweeps Dykstra off his feet. Crazy gets on top for a quick two count. Kenny takes over, annoyed at the two count and pushes Crazy into a corner. Dykstra punches, kicks and unloads on Super Crazy. He whips him across the ring and follows in with a clothesline. Super Crazy staggers out of the corner into a dropkick from Dykstra. Dykstra pins for two. Dykstra attempts a vertical suplex, Crazy though flips out of it and lands on his feet. He comes back with a hiptoss to send Dykstra crashing to the mat. Dykstra is quickly back up, he lands a knee into Super Crazy before hitting a DDT! Dykstra goes to the apron, then steps up onto the top rope. He dives off with a leg drop but Crazy rolls out of the way! Crazy goes up top himself, he comes off with a splash that connects on Kenny's chest! Suddenly The Great Khali storms onto the stage and walks down to the ring. Khali enters the ring and grabs Super Crazy by the throat! The referee throws the match out as Khali picks Crazy up in a gorilla press slam and throws him down to the canvas with a thud. Khali turns his attention to Kenny Dykstra, who's eyes widen and he slides out of the ring in an instant. Crazy pulls himself up using the ropes and Khali just chops Crazy down. Khali leaves the ring and walks up the ramp to the back slowly.

Winner - Super Crazy by DQ due to interference

Orton Talks Up His Championship Credentials

Backstage Randy Orton is standing by with Maria, she asks him why he requested this time before the Main Event. In his usual smug attitude Orton says that he wants the next shot at John Cena for the WWE Championship and he'll be proving it tonight. He adds that it was him who was robbed last night at Wrestlemania when a series of unfortunate events led to him being first eliminated and he was a victim of circumstance. Edge approaches, asking just exactly what Randy was doing. Orton and Edge go face to face, Orton recalling Edge's spear on him at Wrestlemania and Edge dismissing it as 'accidental'. Rated RKO look hardly on the same page as they begin to walk away for the match, Edge stopping for a moment to tell Maria that he's the one who deserves the next title shot.

John Cena, Shawn Michaels & Carlito vs. Rated RKO & Umaga w/Estrada

Rated RKO continue to have problems, not even being able to decide who would start the match. Estrada proved to be the mediator as Edge started the match against John Cena. Seeing this Randy Orton tags himself in to start off against the reigning WWE Champion. Orton and Cena lock up with neither man budging an inch. Orton is pushed back, only to respond with a rake of Cena's eyes. Orton takes Cena down to the mat and grinds his arm into Cena's face. Having gained the advantage, Randy Orton tags in Edge. The World Tag Team Champions make the quick exchange with Edge keeping Cena down against the mat. Cena escapes and nails Edge with a running clothesline. John Cena quickly pins Edge but Edge kicks out at two. Cena tags in Carlito, bringing in the fresh man. Edge motions to Carlito for a test of strength, Carlito accepts onto to be kicked in the stomach by Edge. Edge scoops up Carlito for a slam but Carlito struggles free to knock Edge down with a bulldog. Edge is up quickly but meets a few forearms across his chest by Carlito. Carlito whips Edge into a turnbuckle, Carlito steps up to the second rope and waits as Edge stumbles out into a flying clothesline! Carlito pins for just two. Carlito tags Michaels in, only Umaga has not been in now. HBK goes to work on Edge with signature jabs and then roundhouse rights. Edge comes back, irish whipping Michaels into the ropes but Michaels springs at him with a flying forearm. Edge crawls towards his corner but Michaels grabs his foot. HBK pulls Edge back near to the Cena/Michaels/Carlito corner and tags back Carlito. Carlito jumps in over the top rope, dropping an elbow down on Edge's back in the process. Carlito stomps down on Edge before pulling him up. Carlito unloads on Edge in a corner, Edge slumps down and as he does he grabs Carlito's shorts to send him crashing into the turnbuckles. Edge tags in Orton, Rated RKO double team Carlito by whipping him into the ropes but Carlito ducks a double clothesline. He spins and knocks down Rated RKO with a double clothesline of his own! Shawn Michaels and John Cena come in to even up the numbers, Cena punches Orton into the Rated RKO/Umaga corner and Umaga makes the blind tag before he too comes in. All six are in the ring as Cena clotheslines down Orton before knocking Edge down with a running shoulder block. Umaga meanwhile blocks a superkick from Michaels and tosses him through the ropes to the outside. Edge picks off Cena and two men fall through the ropes still brawling! Carlito hits his Back-Cracker on Orton but doesn't see Umaga coming with the Samoan Spike! Umaga covers for three, the team of Rated RKO and Umaga win the match! Umaga's arm is raised by the referee and he snatches it away for Estrada to raise. Rated RKO return to the ring, Orton wincing still from the Back-Cracker and Edge tries to help him up. Edge is trying to mend broken bridges with Orton but Orton doesn't know who it is and attempts an RKO...but Edge blocks it! Edge stares at Orton and Orton returns it as Raw goes off the air.

Winner - Umaga and Rated RKO by pinfall

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WWE Update

- Wrestlemania 23 was not as well received as past Wrestlemania's, although comparing it to Wrestlemania's 17, 20 and 21 would be stiff competition for any PPV. Wrestlemania 23 though had its moments with the return of Piper with an appearance by Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker's title win and Cena surviving with his title.

- Vladimir Kozlov debuted alongside fellow OVW trainee Boris Alexiev on Smackdown this week with a win over Vito.

- Draft Update: Joey Mercury going from Smackdown to Raw has prompted assumptions that Matt Hardy will also move in coming weeks to Raw. Mike Knox moving to Smackdown was met with little fanfare but the big mover is Carlito. Straight from the Raw main event (where he was pinned by Umaga) to ECW on Tuesday night was a rather shocking move considering that Carlito was almost being groomed as the next big main eventer.

- The 'Mysterious Deal' between Smackdown and Raw to have 3 Smackdown superstars in the Money In The Bank ladder match appears to have been Chris Benoit moving brands again. This is reportedly due to a big storyline coming up that 'only' Chris Benoit could have filled.

- Kevin Federline's custody court battle with Britney Spears starts next week so expect not to see K-Fed on Raw for some time, his appearance to introduce Edge likely his last WWE involvement for a while. Don't rule out K-Fed returning after it's over as he's very popular backstage especially with John Cena.

- The Backlash Main Event could be one of four matches right now - Cena vs. Edge, Cena vs. Orton, Cena vs. Michaels or Cena vs. Umaga. It is generally accepted that it'll be a one-on-one rather than a multi-man scramble.

- Possible future draft movers from Raw look to be Ric Flair and Kenny Dykstra from Raw, The Boogeyman and Mark Henry from Smackdown, Kevin Thorn and CM Punk from ECW. Speaking of Flair, he has not been seen on Raw since the Royal Rumble due to a groin injury suffered as he was eliminated. Flair is healthy and ready to go but his return has been delayed until Backlash as the draft happens.

- Viscera is set to receive a push in the weeks leading up to Backlash and possibly after depending on crowd reactions.

- The King of the Ring tournament has been just announced on WWE.com as Raw exclusive this year for two reasons, firstly Smackdown had it last year and secondly the writers don't want to mess with King Booker's highly successful character.

- No matches have yet been announced for Raw's Backlash on 29 April 2007.

Edited by CraigOrion
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Bad, bad move on restarting Edge/Cena again, even if it involves K-Fed. We saw too much of it in 2006, and frankly, I don't want to see it again.

Phoenix heel turn? I like it alot, hopefully you can turn her into a major player for the Women's Division.

Well that just killed Masters really. Unless that was the start of a Venis push, that hatch had no purpose whatsoever & killed whatever credibility Masters had left.

Eugene turned on Duggan, remember? It's pretty obvious you don't. A Cade/Murdoch victory is good though.

Guess Benoit is part of this whole Bret thing?

Hardy/Viscera? What a wreck of a match. Also, why are you still continuing Hardy/Nitro? You should've ended it at WrestleMania.

Why did you have to reform MNM fulltime? Nitro is already an established singles star, so there is no real point in doing it.

Good booking with Khali there, I love him just randomnly attacking people.

So we're not getting Edge/Cena? That's definitely good news. Nice aftermath of the 6-man as well.

Knox hasn't been see on tv in months, and he suddenly gets drafted? Carlito moving to ECW is fine by me though.

Viscera getting a push isn't good, don't understand why'd you give him one.

King of the Ring returning is a good idea, liking it being on RAW as well.

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I'll just reply to a few of your points quickly, while trying not to reveal much in terms of storylines for the future.

I'm not certain which part of the Masters match annoys you, the writing of it or the booking of it. In my mind I was putting the following points across: A) Venis is an experienced face so should get some good clean offence in. B) Masters is a young heel who is too cocky. C) Masters won cleanly enough with his Master Lock to keep a push going.

Eugene did turn on Duggan but then turned back face in January, since the diary starts in April I've kept Eugene as a face. Teaming up (and not quite being on the same page) is part of them trying their friendship again.

Again I'm not sure what the issue is with Viscera vs. Hardy, the booking or the writing. The wrtiting is obviously down to me but I like Vis (explains the possible push coming) and again the face wins despite adversity.

Personal preferences are always going to come through in a diary, I have a soft spot for Vis and Val so they may appear sometimes more competitive that you will see actually on Raw.

It's looking like I am going to continue MNM as a team, I personally prefer them together than apart and it adds to a competitive tag team division, which is always good.

Mike Knox has been on ECW TV as I said in the update. With a lot of people that haven't been on television, there is that period between the Rumble and Wrestlemania where I might not have published every little detail so I left myself leeway to explain things like that. I suppose the Eugene/Duggan can be put in that category aswell since I didn't comment on it one way or the other in the update.

Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated and it really drives me forward to come up with things that appeal to most.

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Papa Roach’s “To Be Loved” thunders around the arena as pyro dazzles the fans in attendance! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentators. They welcome us to Raw where tonight we will see the Backlash no.1 contender to John Cena's WWE Championship determined as the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga meets HBK Shawn Michaels and RKO put their Tag Team Championships on the line against Cryme Tyme!

The Cutting Edge

The ring is already lined with carpet and two wooden stools, the camera pans around to see the beginning of the Rated RKO video and the sound of the World Tag Team Champions fills the arena. Rated RKO appear and head straight for the ring, not even caring about taunting the capacity crowd. Edge is the first one to speak and he complains about the Backlash WWE Title contenders match booked for tonight’s main event. He ‘doesn’t want to’ but he accuses Coachman and Vince McMahon of holding back Rated RKO! Edge speculates that the powers here on Raw know that either one of Rated RKO could defeat Umaga or Shawn Michaels so they’re scared and they’re protecting John Cena from the real threats. Instead they are made to defend the tag titles against a couple of common thieves! Edge and Orton appear to have put their differences aside for now as Randy Orton continues, Rated RKO are conducting a sit-in protest of this match being made without the presence of the ‘Legend Killer’ or the ‘Rated R Superstar’. Orton and Edge sit on the wooden stools in an act of defiance until the music of Umaga is heard! Umaga and his handler Estrada come to the ring, Estrada picks up one of the microphones as Umaga glares at Rated RKO. Estrada wants to know the true reason for this protest and he thinks that it has something to do with Rated RKO not getting along recently. Orton repeats that they aren’t happy Umaga versus Michaels has been signed without Rated RKO involved. Umaga squares up to Orton! Edge stands too and Umaga does not back down from both the World Tag Champions! Estrada reveals that Umaga has no problem showing everybody why he could become number 1 contender tonight by kicking the asses of Rated RKO as a warm up! Orton is ready to fight but Edge whispers something in his ear and persuades Randy to back away. Edge tells Estrada that he understands why Umaga is in the mix, just not why Shawn Michaels is since Cena cheated him at Wrestlemania and Rated RKO were on the winning team in last week’s main event (with Umaga). The very mention of the word Wrestlemania draws a raised eyebrow from Orton; obviously he hasn’t forgotten the spear from Edge. After looking at Umaga, Rated RKO decides that they won’t be pissing the big Samoan Bulldozer off tonight and they leave the ring. Estrada tells the fans to applaud the next WWE Champion…Uummmagggaaaaaaaaa!

Snitsky vs. Chris Masters

With Snitsky already in the ring, the ‘Masterpiece’ Chris Masters makes his elaborate entrance as highlights of his win over Val Venis last week are seen. Masters tries to get a jump on Snitsky but Snitsky turns around just in time. Snitsky and Masters lock up, a fairly even contest until Masters goes downstairs with a kick to Snitsky’s left knee. Masters then overpowers Snitsky and slams him down with a back suplex. Masters kicks away at the torso of Snitsky, posing for the crowd before dropping an elbow across his chest. Masters does push ups alongside Snitsky until Snitsky punches Masters in the face from his grounded position. Snitsky is first to his feet and connects with right hands to Masters. He backs up and knocks the Masterpiece down with a running clothesline! Snitsky is feeding off the fans as he knocks Masters down with a second clothesline. Snitsky waits as Masters finds his feet, he scoops him up into a slam position and parades Chris Masters around the ring asking where the fans would like him dropped. Snitsky drives Masters down in the delayed scoop slam. Snitsky waits as Masters slowly gets back up, Snitsky runs into the ropes and rebounds off with momentum for his big running boot but Masters ducks underneath! Masters picks Snitsky up and nails him with a backbreaker. Masters pulls Snitsky to his feet, he goes behind Snitsky and attempts to lock in the Master Lock but Snitsky fights out of it before it’s even on! Snitsky lands ferocious elbows back into Masters’ face to loosen his grip. Snitsky kicks him in the gut to double him over, Snitsky looks for a pumphandle but Masters sneaks out onto his feet behind Snitsky…Master Lock! Snitsky reaches out for the ropes but Masters has it locked in tight! Snitsky fights and struggles against it, he moves closer to the ropes but Masters pull him back and Snitsky has no choice but to submit.

Winner - Chris Masters by submission


Backstage the lovely Maria is standing by with Super Crazy. Crazy rants at Maria about The Great Khali interfering in his match last week with Kenny Dykstra. Super Crazy challenges The Great Khali to a match here on Raw next week! Crazy is about to leave but he stops to remind Maria that he's Super and he's Crazy!

The Highlanders vs. World's Greatest Tag Team

The winners of Wrestlemania 23's over the top rope tag team battle royal are introduced next as both Haas and Benjamin look serious about their business. They scoff as Scotland's contribution to the WWE is introduced. Benjamin and Rory start the match off, Benjamin quickly showing his amateur athletics to take Rory down and hold him there for several seconds. Benjamin lets Rory up, then whips him into the ropes only to be reversed. Benjamin ducks under a clothesline attempt and then a second before Rory kicks across Benjamin's chest to knock him down. Rory tags in Robbie as the McAllister cousins make a quick exchange. Benjamin gets back up but he's groggy and vulnerable to a double clothesline knocking him over the top rope from the Highlanders! Rory is sent to his corner by the referee and Robbie heads through the ropes. Robbie slams Benjamin's head into the ring apron before rolling him inside. Robbie sends Benjamin sprawling into a corner with a headbutt. He attempts an irish whip but Benjamin reverses! Robbie though comes charging out of the corner with a running shoulder block to send Benjamin down to the canvas! Robbie tags in Rory and the bald McAllister cousin takes over with his cousin left off, knocking Benjamin down with a clothesline. Rory looks to press his advantage but Benjamin grabs him by the kilt and tosses him through the ropes. Shelton distracts the referee as Haas drops down from the apron and hits an uppercut on Rory. Charlie Haas whips Rory into the barricade before tossing him back inside to his partner. Haas is tagged in legally, he connects with a double underhook suplex and then a pin that Robbie breaks up at one. Haas picks up Rory but the Highlander fights back! He lands shots to Haas' gut and then head before Haas cuts him off with a knee. Haas tags Benjamin back in and the classic WGTT offence comes to the light. Rory's neck is placed across the top rope and Shelton leaps over Haas' head to connect with Rory's back! Benjamin covers and gets a two count when Robbie breaks it up. Benjamin applies a bodyscissors with a rear naked choke, Benjamin has Rory in trouble for several moments before Rory uses the back of his own head as a battering ram to cause a separation. Rory manages to tag Robbie in despite Benjamin trying to drag him back! Robbie nails Benjamin and knocks Charlie Haas down off the apron. Robbie takes Shelton up and over in a back body drop as the stranger half of the Highlanders takes charge. Robbie holds the advantage for several minutes, keeping Shelton trapped into a corner as he weakens the World's Greatest Tag Team member. Charlie Haas tries to come in, which leads to Rory McAllister doing the same. The referee stops Rory coming in and this gives Shelton the opportunity to land a kicked low blow to Robbie! Robbie collapses to the mat in agony and Shelton covers him as the referee turns around. Haas stops Rory from making the save as the referee counts to three.

Winners - World's Great Tag Team by pinfall

Raw's Second Draft Pick is...

Jonathan Coachman comes to the ring, he does his best to flatter the Raw crowd before introducing the second of four draft picks. By way of ECW to Raw, making the trade from Tuesday nights to Monday nights is...MARCUS COR VON! The Alpha Male himself enters and immediately unpopular with the crowd by refusing to touch any fans on his way to the ring. Cor Von shakes hands with Mr. McMahon's Executive Assistant before informing everybody that 'The Alpha Male' Marcus Cor Von is delighted to be here on Raw and soon you'll be looking at not only 'The Alpha Male' but the WWE Champion - The Alpha Male! Cor Von warns the 'boys' in the back that Monday Night Raw is now his territory and he's a hungry Alpha Male looking for his first victims!

MNM Together on Raw

Looking impressed with the arrival of Marcus Cor Von, Melina stops watching her television and starts talking with her team MNM. Melina says that it's so great to have two great draft picks arrive on Raw already. Tonight Marcus Cor Von and last week one half of MNM...Joey Mercury! Still wearing his protective face-mask Mercury tells his teammates that while they are together as a unit, somebody else on Raw is all alone and he's talking about the Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy. With Matt Hardy still over on Friday Night Smackdown, Jeff is all alone against the complete unit of MNM. Johnny Nitro reveals that Jonathan Coachman told him that he has made a match for next week, it'll be a non-title match between Joey Mercury and Jeff Hardy. Mercury promises to cripple Jeff Hardy and leave him scarred so that he'll look worse than Mercury does thanks to Jeff at Armageddon. Melina looks pleased as Nitro begins telling Mercury a few things he's learnt about Jeff Hardy in his battles with him.

World Tag Team Championships

Cryme Tyme vs. Rated RKO ©

After a commercial break we come back to find JTG and big Shad Gaspard in the ring. Cryme Tyme are pumping up the crowd but cheers soon turn to jeers as Rated RKO appear. The World Tag Team Champions still look annoyed as a video plays from earlier tonight where Rated RKO were complaining about not being involved in the Umaga/Michaels contenders main event. Rated RKO circle the ring as the opening bell sounds, one on each side and Cryme Tyme head to the outside! JTG and Edge go at it on one side, Gaspard and Randy Orton on the other. Shad takes Orton head-first into the steel steps as JTG blocks a right hand from Edge to land one of his own. Gaspard puts the boots in on Orton and the referee has no control whatsoever, his count useless against these four warring wrestlers. JTG has Edge sat down against the barricade, JTG takes a run up and blasts the Rated 'R' Superstar with a dropkick to his chest. Orton is back in the ring with Shad standing on the apron, Orton grabs Gaspard's head and snaps Shad down onto the top ring rope in a move similar to an RKO. Orton pulls Shad in under the bottom rope and stomps on him in Orton's circle stomp. JTG gets underneath Edge and tries to drop him down across the barricade but Edge blocks it. Edge rakes JTG in the eyes and then unleashes a succession of hard rights on him. With the referee trying to get Orton and Shad on the apron, Edge reaches into the crowd and picks up a chair to nail JTG across the back with! Orton starts to choke Shad with both hands, keeping the big man on the mat is a sound strategy according to JR. Orton leaves Shad, he joins his Rated RKO partner on the outside. Edge whips JTG towards Orton and Randy back drops him on the thin mats at ringside! JTG is hurt and it's only made worse as Edge picks him up for a Russian legsweep where JTG's head bounces off the steel ringside steps like a basketball! Shad Gaspard is back up, he joins the action by knocking Rated RKO down with double clothesline from the apron! Shad Gaspard picks up Edge and rolls him inside the ring, where the match has hardly been contested and Shad soon joins him. Gaspard wraps his arms around Edge's waist for a belly-to-belly suplex! Edge picked up like a ragdoll and just planted into the canvas below by the big man. Randy Orton returns to the ring, shaking off the cobwebs as he does. He sprints at Shad but Gaspard side-steps him and tosses Orton over the top rope! JTG crawls back in to find Edge still down from Shad's suplex. Still a little groggy JTG makes the cover and the confused referee makes the count for just two. JTG pulls Edge to his feet, he sends him into the ropes but Edge holds on to reverse. Edge attempts a spinning heel kick but JTG ducks! Edge gets back up only to receive a spinning heel kick from JTG knocking him straight back down! On commentary JR and Lawler speculate that this could be the best night for Cryme Tyme to upset Rated RKO with their individual focuses on the WWE Championship contenders match. Lawler is cut off by Shad Gaspard slamming Orton's head into the Raw announce desk! Shad tosses Orton onto the table and calls for JTG. JTG mounts the turnbuckle near the announce table and appears to be about to dive off it onto Orton when Edge grabs his foot! Edge climbs up to the second turnbuckle and superplexes JTG down! Shad slaps the face of Orton on the table before he comes back in, Edge though is ready and waiting to nail the Spear! Shad is folded up and he rolls out to the floor underneath the bottom rope. JTG has been left all alone in the ring as Orton joins Edge. Orton pokes JTG with the end of his boot as Rated RKO taunt the smaller Cryme Tyme man. Orton pulls him up as Edge confronts the referee, Orton slaps JTG in the face over and over again! Orton signals for the RKO, he backs into the ropes for momentum but Shad Gaspard is just about up onto his knees and trips Orton! Shad drags Orton out before he too drops to the floor! Edge turns around to find JTG up and JTG dropkicks Edge to the mat! JTG heads outside onto the apron, he climbs up to the top rope and looks out at the crowd before diving off in a flying elbow drop! JTG connects! JTG pins Edge and the referee counts one, two...th-kick out! Edge survived but only just! JTG is disappointed, he holds up three fingers at the referee but the referee shakes his head. JTG goes up to the top rope for the third time, he wastes no time in coming off with a second elbow drop attempt...missed! Edge rolled out of the way! Edge is back up to his feet first with Shad and Randy Orton pounding on each other at ringside. JTG manages to get up to his feet using the ropes and Edge catches him with the Spear! Edge pins JTG for the three count and Rated RKO retain!

Winners - Rated RKO by pinfall

Meeting Between Old Friends

The caption 'Earlier Today' appears in a corner of the screen and Mickie James is seen participating in a photo shoot for a magazine. She is wearing a beautiful long red dress with the Women's Championship across her shoulder. A few flashes occur from the camera as Mickie poses before something distracts her attention. Mickie tells the photographer that she's taking a break. Mickie walks off the photo shoot set to a person standing in the doorway, former and returning Raw diva Beth Phoenix. Mickie approaches Beth confidently and asks what she is doing. Beth Phoenix looks around, then at Mickie and then at the Women's Championship. Beth reintroduces herself to Mickie James, who responds calmly with "I know what your name is." Beth talks about how she's back on Raw after her injury and she thought that the first person she should tell is her friend Mickie. The Women's Champion hardly seems happy to see her 'friend' and becomes a little uncomfortable after saying to Beth that they are no longer friends. Ignoring Mickie, Beth corrects herself that Mickie is the second person she has told. Beth then exits, leaving Mickie looking relieved but then she wonders who the first person was.

John Cena vs. Kenny Dykstra (Non-Title)

Kenny Dykstra once again in his hot pink wrestling attire makes his entrance to a chorus of boos. The music of John Cena hits and the reigning WWE Champion lights up the arena! Cena prances onto the stage with his spinning WWE Title belt before making his Marine salute. Cena heads to the ring as Kenny Dykstra warms up running against the ropes. Cena enters the ring and the bell sounds. Cena and Dykstra go to lock up but Dykstra ducks underneath it to nail Cena with a right hand jab. They go for a second lock up, the same thing happens with Dykstra ducking and then landing a jab to Cena's face. Cena explodes into a sprint towards Dykstra! Dykstra drops to the mat and rolls outside with Cena hot on his tail! Cena chases Dykstra around the ring, Kenny Dykstra slides back in and runs against the opposite set of ropes. He ducks underneath a wild Cena clothesline attempt but then gets blasted on his return with a shoulder block. Cena goes after Kenny, grabbing him by the head and taking him around the ring to send his head into each of the four top turnbuckles. Kenny tries to escape through the ropes but Cena grabs his tights and it's a full moon here tonight on Raw! With half his ass still showing Cena kicks the legs from underneath Kenny. Kenny Dykstra is whipped into the ropes and Cena hits his sit-down hiptoss. Dykstra is quick back up to his feet but Cena back drops him over the top rope and outside the ring! Dykstra pulls up his shorts as he gets back up, Cena dodges the referee to join him on the outside. John Cena tries to get hold of Dykstra but he proves slippery enough to avoid him. Dykstra catches Cena with a boot to the gut and then slams Cena into the barricade. Already Dykstra is having a better match than he had last week against Super Crazy where he was caught largely off-guard by the usual luchadore's style. Dykstra hits Cena with a punch and then a back elbow knockdown. Dykstra rolls in for a moment to break up the count out before rolling out. He is caught by repeated rights to the face from Cena, Cena attempts an irish whip to the ringpost but Dykstra reverses! Dykstra sends Cena back inside and the WWE Champion perhaps has been the victim of taking Dykstra lightly. Cena gets up to find Dykstra perched on the top rope. Dykstra attempts a double axe handle but Cena buries a right hand into his mid-section to flip Dykstra over to the mat. Cena hits his Five-Knuckle Shuffle to applause and gets a two count on the cover. Dykstra is picked up all the way into the air with a waistlock and then stun gunned on the top rope. Dykstra staggers into the centre of the ring for Cena to hit the Throwback neck snap. Another Cena cover gets a two. Cena picks Kenny up and stuns him with a kick to the gut before lifting him up for the FU! Dykstra struggles and escapes, he steps out on the apron to get away but Cena levels him with a right hand to send Dykstra from the apron all the way down to the announce table with a crash! Cena picks Dykstra up and rolls him in. Cena jumps up onto the apron and all the way upwards to the top rope. Dykstra recovers enough to get back to his feet only to be blasted back down with a Cena flying shoulder block from the top rope! Cena covers again but gets two and a half! Cena briefly questions the referee and then pulls Dykstra up but Dykstra on his way hits Cena somewhere around the waistline with a headbutt out of desperation. Dykstra finds Cena doubled over and spins him to the mat with a spinning neckbreaker. Dykstra makes a pinfall attempt of his own but gets two just as Cena has so far. Dykstra is looking cocky as he pulls Cena to his feet...Cena picks Dykstra up and plants him down with his FU! Cena pins for the win!

Winner - John Cena

Chris Benoit to Raw!

As John Cena joins the announce table a second video package for Chris Benoit following on from the one last week. It shows Benoit making legions of ECW, WCW and WWE wrestlers tapping out to his Crippler Crossface and Sharpshooter. The video ends with the message that Chris Benoit will appear LIVE on Raw next week! John Cena tells JR and Lawler that Benoit being here on Raw is a big deal and great for Raw, Benoit being one of the best the business has ever seen.

Backlash WWE Championship No.1 Contender

Shawn Michaels vs. Umaga w/Estrada

The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels makes his entrance, accompanied by a huge ovation the sole surviving member of D-Generation X emerges onto the stage. He sets off his fireworks and walks down to the ring, slapping hands with the fans on his way. Michaels strips off his entrance attire and continues to play up to the fans. Michaels' grin soon changes though as Umaga with his handler Armando Alejandro Estrada head to the ring. Umaga removes his wrap at ringside as Estrada delivers instructions. The match begins and immediately Michaels dives through the ropes onto Umaga! Michaels wants to get this match started quickly and he connects with two hard right hands on Umaga, sending the big Samoan Bulldozer stumbling back. Michaels picks up Umaga's wrap and puts it over his head so Umaga can't see, Michaels then unloads with rights and lefts to the head! Still at ringside, Michaels knocks Umaga down to a knee with a big right. Michaels kicks at Umaga, keeping the Bulldozer on the defensive despite the protests of Estrada to the referee. Shawn Michaels wants to go to Backlash and he gives a lingering look in Cena's direction before rolling Umaga inside the ring. Michaels pushes the 300-pounder into a corner and steps up to the second rope to rain in blows down onto Umaga's head. Umaga pushes Michaels down off the ropes but like a cat HBK lands on his feet. Umaga connects with a forearm smash to send Michaels staggering across the ring holding his jaw. Umaga takes Shawn to a corner, he tries to slam his head into the top 'buckle but Michaels gets a foot up to block. HBK sends Umaga into the top turnbuckle! Umaga turns around into a barrage of blows as Michaels keep the pace very quick. Umaga is unable to respond, continually kept off-balance by the veteran. Michaels makes a mistake, he attempts a headbutt that hurts him more than it does Umaga. Umaga cocks his head to the left and then just simply beats HBK down to the mat with his own attack. Umaga whips Michaels into another corner, Umaga follows in looking for a splash but Michaels moves and there's nobody home! Umaga walks out into a crucifix by Michaels into a count for two! Umaga is up on his feet quickly but Michaels is ready waiting, he takes Umaga down with one of the oldest moves in the book a drop-toehold. Michaels drops an elbow down across Umaga's back. Umaga is pulled up to his feet and whipped to the ropes but the solid base of Umaga assists him to reverse. Michaels comes off the ropes, uses an outstretched Umaga arm for the hiptoss but Umaga blocks and wipes Michaels out with a clothesline. Umaga takes instruction from Estrada before dragging like a grizzly bear Michaels to the ropes and he chokes HBK across the top rope. He releases HBK as the referee approaches five on his count and then rebounds the ropes in so Michaels falls down to the mat. Umaga drops a headbutt onto the grounded Michaels and pins for two. Cena says that this match was a 'Champions Choice' so he got to name who would compete in this match, both Umaga and Michaels put on impressive performances at Wrestlemania. Umaga picks Michaels up by the hair, he lifts him up looking for his Gorilla Press into a Samoan Drop but Michaels sneaks out, he lands behind Umaga and rolls him up for a pin but Michaels gets just a two count. After a commercial break the momentum has shifted as John Cena looks on at ringside, Michaels beats Umaga to the punch not once but twice and then a third time. Michaels irish whips Umaga and then lowers his head early, Umaga puts the brakes on and kicks the shoulder of Michaels up. Umaga goes to the body with punches to the side, stomach and chest. Umaga pulls Michaels out of the corner only to send him careering back through the turnbuckles to the steel ringpost. He pulls Michaels out and throws him back to the post one more time! Umaga scrapes Michaels off the ringpost and turns him upside down into a tree of woe. Umaga backs up to the other side of the ring for a Running headbutt drop! Umaga's head crashing into HBK's body! Umaga pins Michaels but he gets a foot on the ropes at a count of one. Umaga is angry, he stands up and listens to Estrada before walking backwards. Michaels pulls himself up using the ropes and Umaga sprints at him but Michaels back drops him over the top...Umaga lands on his feet! He reaches underneath the ropes and pulls Michaels out by his ankles. Umaga whips Michaels into the steel steps and HBK's back absorbed the impact. Umaga intimidates Cena despite the referee's warnings. At the request of Estrada, Umaga returns into the ring to allow the referee to count Michaels out. JR confirms that the contender can be determined by count out. The referee reaches four before Michaels begins to get up, the impatient Umaga paces back and forth as the referee counts to six. At eight Michaels rolls back in and is easy prey for Umaga to drop a leg across his throat. Umaga pulls a dazed HBK up to his feet and Michaels fires back! HBK kicks at Umaga, then punches and chops across his massive chest! Michaels takes a step back and launches himself at Umaga, both men go over the top rope! John Cena stands up at the desk to see what's happening and Estrada tells him to sit down. Cena squares up to Estrada and he gets spun around by Umaga! HBK blasts Umaga from behind, knocking Cena and Estrada down in the process! Michaels looks down to see Cena on the ground and he shrugs his shoulders, he then throws Umaga across the announce desk! The referee has begun his count as Michaels goes after Umaga but Umaga kicks HBK away from him. Michaels responds with an attempted Sweet Chin Music but Umaga ducks and dumps Michaels onto the timekeeper's table. The referee is now up to five as Estrada can't get to Umaga, he's still down but Cena is back with the announce team. Cena is on the edge of his seat just like everybody else as Umaga mounts Michaels and delivers right hands as the referee reaches his ten count! Umaga and Shawn Michaels have been counted out, the contender has not been determined! Cena is confused, Estrada can't believe it and Michaels is fending off Umaga as the show comes to a close!

Winner - Draw, both men counted out

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To respond to some points...

- Masters isnt getting a push right now, and he's probably very close to being sent back down to OVW since he has hardly been doing a wholelot and in the time he's been in the WWE despite his really young age he hasn't shown any signs of much improvement, so I dont have an issue with making Venis look better than him.

- Sweet Jesus Christ you have Knox. See, I dont see why he is actually on WWE payroll apart from his size. He may be a very big man, but you have guys like Test that are just as big and have a hell of a better body, if you have to choose a crappy big guy, go with Test everytime.

Now, onto your latest RAW...

You're building to another Umaga/Cena match so I gather (I have to admit I didnt read the match reports word for word since you should really try and start paragraphing to help people read those huge things.) but also keeping Shawn, Edge and Orton all strong. You don't have to do even-steven booking, since you're challenger should stand out from the rest of the pack, but you still have time for that. I cannot say I'm a fan of the fuck finish, especially in a match that was designated to be a #1 contenders match for Backlash, and I also hope it doesn't result in a 3 way for the title again. MNM back together and Jeff on his own, I can't say I like that and I'd have hoped Jeff and Matt would have reuinited since MNM being a team doesnt really help anyone. well it helps Mercury I guess, but Nitro should be a singles star.

Overall I dont mind where you're going, but it could be a little clearer. Cena just beating someone was fine, but if he's going to win I don't see why it isn't for the WWE Title, it's not like Cena would lose to Kenny and it isn't hard to explain it as a title match, but that's ok. I think you could do alright with the brand, but I really hope we get some new programs following the draft lottery instead of the same old shit that we saw prior to Wrestlemania. Oh and Shawn wanted time off from before HHH got injured, factor that in to the show.

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I'm glad to see you're doing another diary, because I loved HOF Wrestling.

It'll be interesting to see how Bret is able to be brought back because in reality I could never see it happening, but I'll be reading. I like the idea of Cor Von going to RAW, and MNM together is better than them being singles.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you'll get away with the Vis push. I still don't think WWE should have made him a heel because he was getting over FINALLY as a face. So yeah, I'll be reading!

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Mike Knox was just a throwaway choice, I didn't want to move an ECW Original to Smackdown and he was the only other heel I was left with after moving Cor Von. Thanks for the advice about paragraphing, I didn't realise that the main event went on that long! HBK's time off has admittedly been forgotten but I can work something out. Kenny and Cena was a non-title match because Super Crazy beat Kenny (by DQ) the week before. I agree, I hate it when the Champion goes over in a non-title match but that was the reason it was non-title this week. Again Bret in WWE is completely unrealistic but there’s a world of possibilities in a diary! Thanks for your feedback!



WWE Update

- The move by Marcus Cor Von was expected, it was just a case of which main brand he went to as he has been groomed for this draft since his debut with ECW. Cor Von will have his in-ring Raw debut this week, watch out for the POUNCE!.

- Big news on Smackdown, the draft from Raw was Snitsky. Snitsky immediately made an impact in his original heel mode by attacking his former nemesis Kane and then challenging The Undertaker to a World Championship Match. Batista had something to say about this and it ended in a wild brawl as Smackdown went off the air.

- Even bigger news on ECW as the draft continued to throw WWE into chaos with Chavo Guerrero arriving on ECW from Smackdown. Chavo hadn't done much since his series of (excellent) matches with Rey Mysterio and then Chris Benoit so it wasn't a surprise to see Chavo shifted from Smackdown. After being introduced, Chavo got into an argument with week 1's pick Carlito and the two are scheduled to face off in a match this coming week in what should be a superb contest.

- Matt Hardy is no longer 100% confirmed to move in the draft, although Jeff Hardy is expected to gain some backup against MNM. Whether this is an old OMEGA colleague, a fellow face on Raw or Matt Hardy is unknown.

- Backlash plans are being changed daily as confusion has hit the WWE writing team. Vince McMahon wants to present a memorable PPV to rival Smackdown's No Way Out just before Wrestlemania and is continually asking for new ideas so there is a bank to choose from.

- Ric Flair will return soon in a non-wrestling role until after Backlash.

- Former Spirit Squad member Johnny Jeter is to be repackaged and brought back onto Raw around Summerslam.

- Kip James (former Bad Ass Billy Gunn) has been contacted about returning to WWE to team with Shawn Michaels as an interim DX team until Triple H is healed. Gunn admitted shortly before Wrestlemania that he'd return to WWE in a heartbeat if an offer was made to him. His partner BG James has not offered a comment.

- Rhino's contract with TNA is expiring shortly and is yet to sign another deal. It is known that Vince McMahon holds no grudges against Rhino or the Dudleyz for their insults towards the reborn ECW and would do business with them if it would be profitable. There is a possibility that Rhino could sign for WWE and be most likely placed on Smackdown given a choice of Raw or Smackdown, avoiding any ECW issues.

- An article at WWE.com contains the information that on behalf of The Great Khali, Vince McMahon has rejected Super Crazy's challenge for next week. However, Crazy must take on Viscera instead on Raw. The Great Khali vs. Super Crazy will instead happen at Backlash.

WWE Backlash Preview

The announced matches for Backlash are as follows:

Challenge Match

Super Crazy vs. The Great Khali

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- Rhino's contract with TNA is expiring shortly and is yet to sign another deal. It is known that Vince McMahon holds no grudges against Rhino or the Dudleyz for their insults towards the reborn ECW and would do business with them if it would be profitable. There is a possibility that Rhino could sign for WWE and be most likely placed on Smackdown given a choice of Raw or Smackdown, avoiding any ECW issues.
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This is true (I've just had a look on OWW), McMahon stopped their match to introduce a bikini contest. I knew that they were in a 'Hate' Relationship on EWR but didn't know when I wrote that what for. I think the actual statement is still accurate, I imagine Vince would work with him if there was a profit to be made but perhaps not on as pleasant terms as I originally thought.



Papa Roach’s “To Be Loved” thunders around the arena as pyro dazzles the fans in attendance! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentators. They welcome us to Raw where tonight we will see Joey Mercury versus Jeff Hardy, Marcus Cor Von makes his in-ring debut and again we will attempt to find out who's going to Backlash as the number 1 contender to John Cena when the main event will be a fatal four way containing Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Edge and Umaga!

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Marcus Cor Von

Scotty 2 Hotty dances his way onto the Raw stage to a large applause and he continues to dance down to the entrance ramp to the ring. The good feeling soon ends as 'The Alpha Male' Marcus Cor Von appears. Cor Von poses on the staging before pointing at Scotty and heading towards his opponent in the ring. Cor Von goes straight to work on Scotty, overpowering him in a grapple and forcing him back into a corner. Cor Von lights up Scotty with chops to the chest and then solid right hands to leave Scotty reeling. Cor Von whips him across the ring, Scotty hitting the turnbuckles hard and then being pressed back into them with a Cor Von turnbuckle clothesline. Cor Von snapmares Scotty to a sitting position on the canvas before Cor Von drives a running kick into his back. Cor Von taunts Scotty 2 Hotty and then the Raw crowd. Cor Von pulls Scotty up by his hair, rams a couple of hards knees into Scotty's gut before dropping him down with a DDT. Cor Von covers but Scotty kicks out at two. Marcus Cor Von picks Scotty up, doubles him over and locks in a butterfly for a double underhook overhead suplex! Scotty sent crashing into the canvas and this time Cor Von does not make a cover. Cor Von pulls Scotty up and whips him hard into the ropes, The Alpha Male runs against the adjacent ropes for the PPPPOOUNNNNCCEEEE! Scotty 2 Hotty sent flying through the air as far the ropes! Cor Von drags him away from the ropes and picks him up, Cor Von goes behind for a side Russian legsweep. Cor Von holds on to land knee strikes to Scotty's head and then Cor Von rolls into his fujiwara armbar! Scotty quickly taps out! Cor Von has his arm raised in the air and he exits the ring. Cor Von grabs Jerry Lawler's headset, he puts it on his own head to reveal that Scotty 2 Hotty is just The Alpha Male's first victim in his new territory!

Winner - Marcus Cor Von by submission

Cena's Services Not Required

The WWE Champion John Cena is about to conduct a backstage interview with Maria when Mr. McMahon's Raw Executive Assistant interrupts him. Jonathan Coachman shakes his head at Cena, saying that he won't be conducting any interviews tonight and he won't be competiting either. Cena insults Coach, speculating that he's just Vince McMahon's lapdog and Cena doesn't have any dog biscuits for him. Instead of getting angry, Coachman uses his position to get even and bans John Cena from the building! Coach calls for a security team on a walkie-talkie and in seconds a group of men arrive. Coach instructs the security team to take Cena back to the locker room to get his crap and then throw his ass out onto the street! Cena reluctantly is taken away as the Coach smirks.

Super Crazy vs. Viscera

A match announced on WWE.com this week is next and the big Viscera comes to the ring. A clip is shown of Crazy challenging Khali last week on Raw and subsequent response on WWE.com by Mr. McMahon. Super Crazy runs down as soon as his music is heard, the bell sounds and Crazy looks across to see the mammoth task before him. They lock up with Crazy managing to get a headlock on Viscera until Vis pushes him into the ropes. Crazy rebounds off into a hard shoulder block sending him straight south. They lock up for a second time and Viscera pushes Super Crazy to the ropes. He opens Crazy up and chops him across the chest! Crazy is whipped across the ring, he ducks underneath a roundhouse clothesline attempt but can't duck a hard back elbow to the face. Big Vis tries to drop an elbow but Super Crazy sees it coming and slides out of the way. Crazy is up to his feet first and blasts Viscera in the face with a basement dropkick. Crazy tries to keep Viscera down on the mat but the big man forces his way back up as he's being peppered with kicks from Crazy. Super Crazy works over Viscera's arm, keeping it twisted and landing punches before Viscera pushes him back into a corner. Viscera punches Super Crazy and Crazy reacts with a punch of his own! Crazy grabs Viscera by the head and rams it into the top turnbuckle! Crazy rams it in as the fans count along to ten. Viscera stumbles back into the middle of the ring not quite sure where is and Crazy runs into the ropes. Crazy leaps into the air with a spinning heel kick but Viscera drops to the mat and avoids the contact. Viscera gets back up and chokes Crazy against the mat with a boot. He drags Super Crazy into a corner, pulls him up to his feet before unleashing a series of blows to subdue Crazy down to the mat. Viscera picks him back up and stands him up in corner. Viscera backs up for a running corner splash but Super Crazy ducks out onto the apron! Viscera hits the turnbuckles hard and falls down onto the mat. Super Crazy goes up top and flies off with a body splash! Crazy connects and looks for the cover but Viscera kicks out with authority on two! Super Crazy uses the ropes again, springboarding off in a missile dropkick as Vis starts to get back up. Crazy is feeding off the crowd until he turns around to see The Great Khali walking to the ring! Crazy prepares himself as the huge freak of nature gets closer. Suddenly Viscera nails Super Crazy from behind, pushes him into the ropes and connects with a spinning sidewalk slam! Viscera pins for three. The Great Khali enters the ring as the match is over, Viscera steps back and motions for Khali to have Super Crazy all to himself. Khali scoops Crazy up all the way from the mat onto his shoulder and powerslams him down from seven and a half feet! Super Crazy has been left down and hurt by The Great Khali's attack.

Winner - Viscera by pinfall

Benoit Arrives on Raw

After a commercial break, the fans rejoice as Chris Benoit's music hits! The Canadian himself walks out to face the crowd and he recieves a standing ovation! In the ring Vince McMahon is waiting and Benoit slaps hands with the fans on his way. Benoit enters the ring and shakes hands with Mr. McMahon. McMahon announces that as part of the deal for Smackdown to have three wrestlers in the Wrestlemania Money In The Bank, Chris Benoit is moving to Raw on Monday nights. McMahon has two clipboards with contracts on, he holds up Benoit's Smackdown contract and says that Theodore Long as breached this contract intentionally so McMahon tears it up. McMahon then offers Benoit his new Raw contract and a pen, Benoit holds it up for the fans to see and cheer before Chris adds his signature. McMahon approves the deal with his own signature. Benoit raises his fists into the air and the Raw fans cheer the new signing.

Mickie James & Torrie Wilson vs. Victoria & Beth Phoenix

A diva tag match is up next, Mickie James and Torrie Wilson (with Chloe) come to the ring. They are shortly followed by the somewhat unstable Victoria and Beth Phoenix. Torrie and Victoria kick off this tag bout, Beth Phoenix electing to mirror the WWE Women's Champion. Victoria and Torrie grapple with the more experienced Victoria coming out on top. She arm drags Torrie Wilson down to the mat and then brags about it to her partner Beth Phoenix. Victoria stops wasting time, she lands a kick to Torrie's stomach and follows it up with a snapmare down to the mat. Torrie is quickly back up, Victoria attempts an irish whip into the ropes but Torrie cartwheels over to block it. Victoria doesn't look impressed and attempts a clothesline, which Torrie ducks. Torrie comes back with a dropkick to knock Victoria down. Torrie covers but just gets a one count. Torrie Wilson tags in Mickie James and Victoria motions for her to come in. Mickie and Victoria lock up, Victoria goes behind for a waistlock but Mickie counters with an elbow into side of Victoria's head. Mickie connects with a spinning back kick into Victoria's stomach before Victoria strikes Mickie in the face out of frustration. Victoria reaches to tag in Beth Phoenix but Beth is reluctant. Victoria goes back to Mickie, taking the Women's Champion into a neutral turnbuckle and chopping away at her chest. Victoria slugs Mickie in the mouth. Victoria brings Mickie James out of the corner only to recieve a kick for her trouble, Mickie takes Victoria up and over to the mat with a fisherman suplex! Mickie holds on for the cover but Beth Phoenix breaks it up at one. The referee escorts Beth out of the ring as Mickie pulls Victoria up. Mickie looks across the ring at Beth Phoenix, which gives Victoria the chance to send Mickie crashing through the ropes. Victoria distracts the referee for Beth Phoenix to drop to the outside and attack Mickie with kicks to the back. Beth rolls Mickie back in as Victoria pushes the referee aside and this time tags Beth Phoenix in. The King and JR discuss how Phoenix has no problem coming in when Mickie James in down on the mat. Beth kicks Mickie across the ring and Torrie tags herself in. Torrie scoops Beth up and slams her down onto the mat before covering. Beth kicks out at two and then rakes the eyes of Torrie Wilson. Beth Phoenix suplexes her over in a gutwrench suplex! Beth knocks Mickie down off the apron before Beth hits her Down In Flames finishing move on Torrie Wilson for the second time in three weeks and pins for the three count.

Winners - Victoria & Beth Phoenix by pinfall

The Nature Boy's Enthusiasm

Jonathan Coachman and Vince McMahon are discussing Backlash in McMahon's office. Coachman suggests capitalising on Chris Benoit's popularity by having him wrestle his very first match on the Raw brand at Backlash. McMahon agrees that is a great idea and another person to agree is 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair! Flair is standing in the doorway and comes in as the crowd react to the living legend. Flair says that he wants the spot against Chris Benoit at Backlash because space mountain is ready to go again on Raw! Coach apologises to Mr. McMahon, then tells Flair to hit the bricks. Flair will not leave but Coachman tells him to get out because he's not taking on Benoit at Backlash. Flair vows that when he's given the chance, he'll show that he's worth his place on the Raw roster.

The Highlanders & Cryme Tyme vs. Cade, Murdoch & World's Greatest Tag Team

A big tag team division eight-man tag has been signed. The Highlanders and Cryme Tyme enter the arena together, perhaps showing solidarity in their common goal. Meanwhile Cade & Murdoch enter alone, then followed by Haas and Benjamin. Charlie Haas kicks off the match against JTG, who along with his partner Shad came so close last week to becoming World Tag Team Champions and were only just defeated by Rated RKO in an excpetional tag team contest that could have gone either way according to JR. JTG and Haas circle around each other, they lock up and Haas hits a lightning fast arm drag to leave JTG down on the mat. JTG gets back up into a second tie up, this time JTG looks to be in charge before Haas arm drags him down again. A third tie up results in Haas applying a headlock but JTG takes him to the ropes and shoots him forward. Haas knocks JTG down with a shoulder block before stepping over him on the run. JTG hits a dropkick on Haas to send him sprawling across the mat. Haas gets back up onto to be clotheslined over the top rope by JTG! Shad Gaspard drops down from the apron, he picks JTG up and rolls him inside underneath the bottom rope. Haas reaches through the ropes for Shad and then turns around into a JTG clothesline! Haas is sent tumbling outside the ring once again! Shad is there again, he nails Haas with a right hand before rolling him inside to JTG. Haas moves quickly to his corner before JTG can get a hold of him. Haas tags in Lance Cade, who's first appearance into the match is met with a kick from JTG to the gut. JTG holds Cade as he tags in Robbie McAllister. Robbie works with JTG to nail Cade with a right hand, Cade fights back with a knee across Robbie's torso. Cade whips Robbie across the ring, Robbie ducks under a clothesline attempt and then attempts a hiptoss that Cade blocks. Robbie goes downstairs with a sweep but Cade jumps over his legs.

Cade looks out at the crowd with a smirk on his face but he turns into a dropkick from Robbie! Cade is pulled up but pushes Robbie back to give him room for a big boot to Robbie's face! Cade exchanges a tag with Trevor Murdoch. Murdoch and Cade double team Robbie McAllister. They whip him into the ropes and knock him down with a double clothesline. Murdoch drops a big elbow down on Robbie and Murdoch tags in Shelton Benjamin. Murdoch holds Robbie open for Shelton to unload on, Trevor then gives him one last chop across his chest before turning him over to Shelton. Shelton Benjamin hits a big vertical suplex on Robbie and pins for a two count. Shelton pulls Robbie up and ends him back down with a flying elbow smash. Shelton drags Robbie across the ring and holds him down to tag in Charlie Haas. Haas sets up Robbie as Benjamin runs to the ropes and the World's Greatest Tag Team connect with their classic tandem offence. Haas covers for two as Rory McAllister make the save. Haas tags in Cade but Murdoch comes in with him too. Cade and Murdoch set Robbie up and then execute a double DDT! Getting Murdoch out of the ring distracts the referee for Cade to deliver a headbutt low blow to Robbie. Cade picks Robbie McAllister up and hits a backbreaker, dropping Robbie down to the mat. Cade pins but gets just two. Another quick tag sees Haas coming back in. Haas is confident as he reaches down to pick Robbie up but Robbie small packages him! Robbie gets a two count and Haas storms back up to his feet. Haas looks for a clothesline but Robbie ducks! Robbie knocks down Haas with a headbutt. Robbie jumps to tag in Rory McAllister! Rory is a house on fire as he nails Haas with forearm shots to the head. Haas is beaten back into a corner and whipped to the far side. Haas staggers out into a big back body drop! Haas gets back up and is knocked down twice in quick succession by McAllister clotheslines! Rory picks Haas up but Haas hits an uppercut, ironically european. Haas looks for a tag to Shelton Benjamin but Lance Cade gets there first. Cade brushes Haas on his way past him, Cade goes to grab Rory but big Shad is in the ring and blasts Cade with a big boot! Rory rolls Cade up in a school boy! Rory gets three! The Highlanders and Cryme Tyme celebrate in the ring as their opposition begin argue on the outside.

Winners - The Highlanders & Cryme Tyme

Tag Team Trouble

After a commercial break Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch are backstage, they look angry. Cade pushes doors in as Murdoch talks about how it was Haas and Benjamin's fault that they lost. They find the World's Greatest Tag Team in a corridor and Cade shoves Haas! Benjamin stands up for his partner and Murdoch gets in his face as the two teams square off! Officials and other wrestlers arrive to make sure the two teams do not come to blows.

Jeff Hardy vs. Joey Mercury (non-title)

The Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy comes out onto the stage, he sets his pyro off before heading to the squared circle. His opponent is Joey Mercury and Mercury is accompanied by the other two thirds of MNM, Melina and Johnny Nitro. Nitro continues to give Mercury information about Jeff Hardy all the way down the ramp as Nitro is in coaching mode. As soon as Mercury's hands touch the ring apron Jeff Hardy springs into action with a baseball slide to knock Mercury down! Hardy is up again and running in the ring as he builds momentum for a suicide dive! Hardy wipes out Mercury! Nitro gets in Hardy's face but Hardy ignores him and stomps down on Mercury's head. Nitro distracts Jeff Hardy, long enough for Mercury to get back up and nail Jeff from behind. Mercury throws Jeff into the barricade as he creates some time for Mercury to recover. Nitro pours a bottle of water over Mercury's head to freshen his outlook. Mercury picks up Jeff Hardy and tosses him into the ring under the ropes. Mercury signals that it's over as he walks up the ringsteps. Mercury goes straight up top and launches off with a diving elbow drop! Mercury connects and stays on top for the referee to count. Mercury gets a two and a half as Hardy makes a late kick out. Mercury shoots a sidewards glance through his protective face-mask at the referee. Mercury picks Hardy up and shoves him backwards into a corner. Mercury looks for an irish whip across the ring but Hardy reverses! Mercury smashes into the turnbuckle chest-first and collapses to the mat. Hardy goes up to the top turnbuckle and perches as Mercury regains a vertical base. Jeff leaps off into a cross body and stays on to make a two count. Jeff ties up Mercury's arms and then cradles for a second two count in quick succession.

Hardy goes to work on Mercury's arm, twisting it once and then twice. Mercury athletically flips out to twist Hardy's arm and drags him down to the mat using his hair. Hardy nips up and braks Mercury's hold of him. Hardy hooks Mercury up and drops down in his sit-out jawbreaker! Hardy pins Mercury for another two count. Hardy whips Joey Mercury into the ropes but Mercury reverses. Mercury nails Hardy with a spinning heel kick from a standing position. Mercury pins Hardy but Jeff manages to get his foot on the ropes before the three. Mercury pulls Hardy up, Hardy fights back and catches Mercury with his reverse spinning wheel kick. Mercury drops through the ropes to the outside and Hardy jumps over the top rope with a cannonball action, knocking Mercury down in the process. Hardy gets on top of Mercury to hit punches, Hardy pulsl Mercury up and sends him back into the ring. Hardy joins him and attempts a clothesline that swings him around, Hardy is picked up and driven into the mat with a german suplex! Mercury holds on for a pinfall attempt but Hardy kicks out at two. Mercury goes for another german suplex but Hardy struggles out and lands on his feet in front of Mercury. Hardy goes for a hurricanrana but Mercury slams him down in a powerbomb! Mercury covers but again Hardy kicks out! Jeff is showing resiliance as Mercury hooks Jeff up for a double underhook but Hardy powers out! Hardy hits a neckbreaker on Mercury and then leaps to the top rope! Jeff signals for his Swanton Bomb but Nitro jumps up onto the apron to shove Jeff down! The referee calls for the bell as Nitro enters the ring and puts the boots in on Jeff! Melina helps Mercury come around and the MNM tag team begin the dissection of Hardy. Mercury lifts Jeff up for the snapshot but through the crowd comes MATT HARDY! Matt slides into the ring and knocks Mercury down with a discus right hand! Matt blocks a Nitro attempted punch to land a kick and spin Nitro down to the canvas with his Twist of Fate! Matt helps his brother up to his feet as MNM are getting away from ringside.

Winner - Jeff Hardy by DQ through interference

Shawn Michaels Is Ready

After a commercial break JR and the King inform the watching audience that Matt Hardy is Raw's third draft arrival and the second from Smackdown. They then send it back to Maria with Shawn Michaels. Michaels is bouncing up and down as he prepares for the Fatal Four Way in just a moment. Maria asks Shawn what it was like going to battle with Umaga last week. Michaels does not answer. Maria asks how he feels about Rated RKO being involved this week. Shawn does not answer. Maria is puzzled and asks Shawn what it would mean to challenge Cena one-on-one for the WWE Championship at Backlash. Shawn again doesn't answer. Maria asks why Shawn won't reply. Shawn cuts her off. Michaels tells Maria that he didn't come to Raw tonight to lose and then heads for the ring.

Backlash WWE Championship No.1 Contender

Shawn Michaels vs. Umaga w/Estrada vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge

Michaels goes straight from the interview with Maria to the ring, his music drawing a large ovation from the crowd. To the ring next is Randy Orton and he poses on the stage to his falling gold backdrop. Orton saunters to the ring looking very confident. Next is Edge, the 'Rated R Superstar' bursts through his cloud of smoke and he too shares Orton's confident attitude. The final man to be introduced is with his handler Estrada, Umaga walks to the ring and looks up to see all three of his opponents stood in a line waiting for his arrival. JR speculates about a smart strategy to eliminate the Samoan monster early as Umaga removes his wrap. Umaga slides into the ring and Rated RKO go immediately to work! Shawn Michaels and Rated RKO stomp all over the Samoan Bulldozer. The King reminds the fans that there is no disqualifications and no count outs for this match. Michaels and Edge hold Umaga in place for Randy Orton to connect with a big standing dropkick. Umaga gets back up only to be irish whipped by Edge into a turnbuckle. Edge follows in close behind with a clothesline, Orton runs in and he too lands a high clothesline. Umaga is blasted with a third clothesline, this time from Shawn Michaels. Umaga staggers out unbalanced but manages to get a punch in on Michaels. Michaels starts to get back up but then drops to the mat and rolls outside the ring. Rated RKO continue with their assault on the Samoan Bulldozer.

Orton and Edge set Umaga up, then execute a beautiful vertical suplex. At ringside Shawn Michaels is back on his feet but doesn't return to the ring. He leans on the ring apron watching as Umaga fights back! Umaga knocks down Orton with a forearm and then kicks Edge in the face. Edge stumbles into a corner and Umaga immediately squashes him in a turnbuckle splash! Orton goes down from a running headbutt. Shawn Michaels has chosen his spot carefully, he slides in and tees off on Umaga. Shawn lifts Umaga up into an inverted atomic drop and Michaels backs into the ropes for a clothesline knockdown! Umaga is not on his back for long, he rolls onto his stomach and stands up to find HBK sprinting at him. Michaels leaps into the air for a cross body block but Umaga catches him! Umaga parades Michaels around the ring before swinging him around into a side slam. Rated RKO are up, Edge sprints at Umaga but Umaga ducks and back drops him to the outside. Randy Orton attempts the same as Edge and Umaga sees him coming too. Umaga sidesteps Orton and tosses him over the top rope. Umaga turns around to find HBK getting back up, Umaga rams an elbow into Michaels' head to knock him down. Umaga pins for two. Umaga glares at the referee and Randy Orton reaches inside the ring to drag HBK out. Randy Orton places his shoulder into Michaels' stomach and rams him back against the ring apron. Edge is in the ring and he locks Umaga in a sleeper hold. Orton pulls Shawn Michaels around the ringside area, irish whipping Michaels into the timekeeper's table but Shawn reverses! Orton is sent sailing into the timekeeper! Michaels peels Orton off the timekeeper and slams his head into the top of the announce table. Umaga has escaped Edge's sleeper and has locked in one of his own. Michaels attempts an irish whip on Orton but Orton this time reverses to send HBK into the barricade back-first. Orton brings HBK over to the steps, he tries to send Michaels into them but Shawn gets his foot up to block.

After a commercial break Umaga has his legs wrapped around Edge's waist as he chokes the life out of the Rated 'R' Superstar. Michaels whips Orton into the ringpost and Orton staggers onto the entrance ramp. Shawn knocks him down with a clothesline, Orton's head bounces back off the steel ramp. Umaga has Edge up on his feet, Umaga sends him into a turnbuckle and Edge slumps down to the mat. Umaga sprints in and hits his Wrecking Ball attack! John Cena is seen watching intently as Umaga yells in his Samoan tongue. Michaels suplexes Orton on the steel entrance ramp. Umaga has Edge up in a gorilla press, he tosses the former WWE Champion into the air and drives him down in a Samoan Drop! Umaga pins but HBK breaks it up at a two count. Michaels rolls Edge out of the ring and then finds Umaga stood behind waiting. Umaga chops at Shawn's chest, Michaels responds with chops of his own. Umaga whips HBK into a corner and runs in but Shawn gets a boot up in his face. Michaels reverses Umaga into the corner and mounts up to the second rope. Michaels delivers a 10 punch as the crowd count along. Umaga manages to push Michaels down and goes for the Spike but HBK avoids it! Michaels knocks Umaga down with his flying forearm smash! HBK tunes up the band. Michaels nails Umaga with Sweet Chin Music but Orton breaks up the pin! Edge comes back into the ring with steel chairs in hand, he gives one to Orton. Edge blasts HBK with chair, sending him stumbling through the ropes. Rated RKO wait as Umaga gets up to hit him with a Con-Chair-To! Umaga slumps to the mat but as Rated RKO argue about who gets to pin him, Umaga starts to get back up! Rated RKO attempt another Con-Chair-To but Umaga ducks! Umaga catches Orton with a Spike! HBK hits Sweet Chin Music on Edge! Estrada is up on the apron but gets knocked down by Michaels. Umaga sprints at HBK but Shawn backdrops him over the top rope into Estrada! Edge goes after Umaga but he clotheslines him into front row! Edge and Umaga fight away from the ring through the crowd. Orton hits his backbreaker on Michaels and heads out onto the apron. Orton climbs to the top and attempts his froggy cross body block but hits the Sweet Chin Music! Michaels pins Orton for three with both Umaga and Edge trying to get back to ringside! Michaels is going to Backlash! John Cena stands up at the bar where he is and looks down at his spinning WWE Title belt as the show ends.

Winner - Shawn Michaels by pinfall

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Good opening segment to kick off RAW, nice to see Rated RKO is going to be breaking up.

Another squash for Masters, at least it keeps him strong.

Now that is a great way to get Crazy over, by him challenging Khali. Great booking there, because even if Crazy loses, it's a win-win situation.

WGTT winning is good, at least it gives them airtime. But two nothing matches at the start of RAW? If I was a casual fan, I would've tuned out by now.

Cor Von is a decent draft pick, but I would've liked to have seen a shakeup in the main event scene.

Why would Coach make the match non-title? Anyways, this feud is going good, even though they shouldn't be back together.

Rated RKO keeping the titles is a good move, as they can give much needed importance to them

So you're continuing their feud? I like that, but I hope it doesn't end up Mickie fucking a dead guy.

Cena beating Dykstra was obvious, so nothing to write about there.

Benoit on RAW involves this whole Hart thing, so I won't complain about it.

Where was Rated RKO? I would've preferred them to interfere & make it a draw, then have a double count out.

WTF? You're making Snitsky a main eventer on Smackdown.

Chavo in ECW is good, as it gtes him away from all of the Eddie stuff.

Why's Flair in a non-wrestling role?

Jeter being brought back is good, as he & Kenny did stand out in the SS.

Don't bring back Gunn, please.

Rhino being brought back is okay, don't see why you need him though.

You start RAW off with a squash? Bad booking there.

Cena getting thrown out is interesting, hopefully it leads to something later on.

I would've liked to have seen Crazy go over Big Vis, but it doesn't bother me too much.

Nothing too comment on there with the Benoit signing.

Nice way to make Beth look strong, and nice to know you're not forgetting Victoria.

Flair push involves the whole Hart thing? I hope it does.

WGTT/C&M feud is good, but WGTT better be the ones turning face.

Good ending to the Hardy/Mercury match, tag rematch at Backlash?

HBK/Cena is a strange decision, but there are not many better options though.

Before I go though, you need to work on your match placement. It's all over the place.

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Why would Coach make the match non-title? Anyways, this feud is going good, even though they shouldn't be back together.

- The reason for non-title is that Coach has big plans for the Intercontinental Title at Backlash and he considers Johnny Nitro the no.1 contender.

So you're continuing their feud? I like that, but I hope it doesn't end up Mickie fucking a dead guy.

- Me too! I’m hoping for a simple explanation, something believable but interesting enough.

Where was Rated RKO? I would've preferred them to interfere & make it a draw, then have a double count out.

- The only reason Rated RKO weren’t involved was because I wanted them to compete for the contendership in a four way the following week. Admittedly Coach would probably have included them anyway if they had interfered but I thought it better to have them not involved in the finish so free to compete in the four way without having affected the outcome of the first match.

WTF? You're making Snitsky a main eventer on Smackdown.

- Since I’m only writing out the results of Raw, I don’t really care about Smackdown. I imagine he would at least participate in an angle with Kane, the Undertaker thing was just thrown in.

Why's Flair in a non-wrestling role?

- Flair was injured at the Royal Rumble and has not competed since. He’s ready to go now but being in a non-wrestling role is a storyline thing to create intrigue for something set up for Backlash next week.

Don't bring back Gunn, please.

- I don’t mind Kip but he isn’t a certainty.

You start RAW off with a squash? Bad booking there.

- I thought the interest of Marcus Cor Von’s first Raw match might have been a nice place to start the night.

I would've liked to have seen Crazy go over Big Vis, but it doesn't bother me too much.

- Again I toyed with the result for this match. It was either a DQ win for Crazy or a pinfall for Vis and I decided that since I was going to do a DQ in Hardy’s match, it should be a heel win here.

Flair push involves the whole Hart thing? I hope it does.

- It doesn’t.

WGTT/C&M feud is good, but WGTT better be the ones turning face.

- I don’t know if it’s a long enough thing to warrant somebody turning face but WGTT would be more face-ish.

HBK/Cena is a strange decision, but there are not many better options though.

- I thought I may aswell have a crack at the real Wrestlemania main event at Backlash since my Wrestlemania main event was (another) four way.

Before I go though, you need to work on your match placement. It's all over the place.

- Couldn’t agree more. I’ve printed out the last two Raw reports from OWW and I’m going through them to come up more realistic placements.



WWE Update

- The wording to Vince McMahon's Chris Benoit announcement raised many eyebrows. His exact words were "Theodore Long has intentionally breached your Smackdown contract Chris." These were also the words McMahon used when ending fellow Canadian Bret Hart's tenure in WWE as seen on Paul Jay's excellent Wrestling With Shadows documentary.

- The Raw draft pick was Matt Hardy as previously discussed in this weekly update. Look for the Hardy Boyz vs. MNM rivalry to continue.

- The Smackdown draft pick was Test after much debate. Test will be forming a regular tag team with Mike Knox in the coming weeks.

- The big news again is the ECW pick. This turned out to be EDGE! Edge made a huge impact in his first night, defeating Bobby Lashley in tag team competition (Test & Edge vs. Lashley & Rob Van Dam). Also on the blockbuster edition of ECW Carlito defeated Chavo after reversing a cheat attempt. ECW was taped before Smackdown, allowing this draft to happen without spoiling anything for the fans in attendance. No news yet on Edge's half of the tag team titles.

- Rhino is being pushed for by some voices backstage as a possible opponent for Umaga but a return would need proper build up, better than Rhino ever had when he was with WWE.

- Triple H's return is scheduled for shortly after Summerslam. He won't be involved in WWE's annual summer bash but should be back on TV before the next PPV, Unforgiven.

WWE Backlash Preview

The announced matches for Backlash are as follows:

Challenge Match

Super Crazy vs. The Great Khali

Raw Return

Chris Benoit vs. ???

WWE Championship

John Cena © vs. Shawn Michaels

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