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Raw: Debuts, new tag champs, staredowns
By CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling


We are fresh off the heels of Wrestlemania 22 and Raw is wasting no time getting right down to business. With an unexpected face turn expected, and a few scores left to be settled, it appears as though Chicago is in store to go "Big Time" once more.

WWE Champion, John Cena started off the show, coming out to a chorus of boos. The Chicago crowd has transformed John Cena into a big heel, while Triple H has turned into a big face. Cena ran his mouth a bit, before getting interrupted by "The Game," whose entrance, along with Cena's proved that the newly acquired Nickelodeon writers had a say in Wrestlemania 22. Triple H ran down Cena and proclaimed that he should be the champion and he wanted a rematch. This prompted "The Rated R Superstar" Edge and Lita to come out. Edge talked about staying up to watch Triple H tap out. The comments didn't necessarily sit well with "The Game," but a mutual dislike for Cena, bonded the two together. After a couple of pops, it was decided that Triple H and Edge would team up in the Main Event, to take on John Cena in a Handicap Match.

Match One - World Tag Team Championship Match - Kane and The Big Show (C) vs. The Spirit Squad (Mikey and Kenny) w/ Johnny, Nicky and Mitch

Pro-Spirit Squad match here, with enough interference to make even the most dastardly of heels cringe. A hot tag to The Big Show saw little fire, as he cleaned ring on the cheerleaders, sending bodies flying in every direction. In the midst of all the excitement, the referee was knocked down, which allowed all five members of the Squad to enter the ring and pull off their parachute move on The Big Show, followed by a top rope Leg Drop from Kenny for the win.

Winners Via Pinfall and NEW World Tag Team Champions - The Spirit Squad (Mikey and Kenny)

In the back, Maria conducted an interview with the new tag champs, who decided to celebrate with a little cheer. The way they say their names is especially funny. Great stuff.

Rob Van Dam made his way to the ring next, carrying his Money in the Bank briefcase. Van Dam talked about the opportunity that was now in front of him. He vowed not to wait as long as Edge did to cash in his opportunity, because timing for such opportunity was so important, it was "Extreme." WWE Championship Match on One Night Stand 2?

Match Two - "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters vs. Tyson Dux

This was an absolute squash match, that saw Masters decimate the Independent star. After powering him around the ring, The Masterlock was applied, leaving Dux with no choice but to submit.

Winner Via Submission - "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters

After the match, Carlito hit the ring to congratulate Masters, spitting an apple in the face of Dux, but as Masters had his back turned, Carlito hit the Backcracker and began pummeling Masters into the canvas with punch after punch. Guess their relationship is over, ah, it was "cool" while it lasted.

"The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels came out next and gloated over his win at Wrestlemania in what many people, including myself, considered to be the Match of the Night. Michaels talked about getting a Championship Match out of the deal, but before he could go much further, Shane McMahon made his way out. Shane then introduced his father, Vincent  Kennedy McMahon. Vince came out all battered and bruised. Vince talked about the match at Wrestlemania being a Handicap Match, saying that Shawn Michaels used Divine Intervention to escape with a victory. He also talked about Shane being emotionally scarred after having his face stuffed in his rear end. The two exchanged verbal jabs, with a "Suck It" chant from the crowd breaking out. Vince continued on with his complaining, as Michaels questioned what the point of his rant was. Vince replied that the point was "Nobody wins against the McMahons," that's why he would sanctioning a tag team match at Backlash, pitting Vince and Shane against Shawn Michaels and God. With all the DX references as of late, is a reuniting on the horizon?

Match Three - Mickie James and Candice Michelle vs. Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson

Mickie should make a great Women's Champion, she can really wrestle, which is obviously a factor that would be of desire for the position; however, in the past it hasn't really mattered. Torrie Wilson continued in her attempt to wrestle, but after a missed clothesline, she was met with a powerful chick kick from Mickie that was enough to put her away for the three count.

Winners Via Pinfall - Mickie James and Candice Michelle

After the match, Trish handed Mickie the belt.

Chavo Guerrero came out and cut a promo, dedicating his forthcoming WWE Intercontinental Championship match to his late Uncle, Eddie Guerrero.

Match Four - WWE Intercontinental Championship Match - Shelton Benjamin (C) vs. Chavo Guerrero

Guerrero landed plenty of shots on Benjamin, who came to the ring sporting a pair of shades. After several near falls, Guerrero began bringing some old tricks out of the bag, including the Three Amigos. Guerrero then ascended the turnbuckles, and attempted to hit the Frog Splash, but to no avail. Benjamin was able to move out of the way and counter it with a T-Bone Suplex, thus retaining the Intercontinental Championship.

Winner Via Pinfall and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion - Shelton Benjamin

After the match and in the back on WWE.com Unlimited, Guerrero apologized for his loss and began crying. He went on to say that he wasn't cut out for wrestling and ultimately quit.

"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair came out next, playing to the crowd with a couple of Wooooooos.  Flair talked about having one more run left in him. On this note, the debuting Armando Alejandro Estrada came out. He ran down Flair, claiming that he used to watch him as a kid, but no longer did he look up to him. Flair fired back on Estrada, telling him not to raise his voice at "The Nature Boy." Estrada countered Flair, saying he overstayed his welcome. He then introduced his new man... Umaga. Former Three Minute Warning member, Jamal, emerged from the back, displaying a Headshrinker like outfit and haircut. He destroyed Flair, with a butt bump in the corner, a few headbutts and a variation of a Samoan Drop.

In the back, Triple H and Edge make sure they are on the same page with one another. Triple H tells Edge to go out and kick Cena's ass. Edge and Lita walked off as "The Game" snickered in the background.

Match Five - Handicap Match - Triple H and Edge w/ Lita vs. John Cena

It's ironic that a promo by Triple H sparked such an uprising against Cena. Triple H and Edge had the match well at hand, until Cena got in a late flurry of offense. Cena went to town on Edge with a couple of rights to the face. "The Game" pulled Cena off of Edge and threw a few shots of his own, connecting with the face of "The Rated R Superstar." Cena used the opening to take Triple H down, he attempted to hit a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but "The Game" rose to his feet and planted Cena with a kick to the midsection and Pedigree.

Winners Via Pinfall - Triple H and Edge

After the match, Triple H and Edge stared one another down as Raw left us from Chicago.

Raws after PPVs are usually stellar, and this one was no exception. New champs, a debut, a return and plenty of surprise helped remove us from Wrestlemania and put us on the fast track to Backlash.

RELATED LINKS

  • More on WrestleMania 22


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • Pre-order WWE WrestleMania 22 DVD

    Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and enjoyed covering Raw in place of Dale Plummer.