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   Tue, April 3, 2007



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COMMENT





Raw: New tag champs crowned
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


It used to be that the day after Wrestlemania was a day to start new feuds, new storylines, and maybe name a new number one contender. Not anymore. As RAW comes to us from Dayton, Ohio, expect some Wrestlemania rematches, and the same guy contending for the WWE Championship.

THE CHAMP IS HERE! (For those of you who don't like Cena as champ (Brian Whorl I'm looking in your direction), I have two words for you: Too bad!) Cena heads to the ring amid a smattering of applause and boos, and a very hoarse Jim Ross. Before Cena can elaborate, his opponent from the night before enters the arena. HBK announces the champ is here, and it's like reliving a bad dream. Michaels says this is usually where he comes out and says how he and his opponent made history. HBK says their match was about winning and losing, and HBK lost, and he doesn't like it. Shawn says he is sick of telling his opponents they were the better man, and it ends tonight. HBK tells Cena he is not the better man.

Cena responds by saying that sounds like a challenge, so anytime, anyplace. HBK seems game for a rematch, but Coach spoils the party.

Coach announces the WWE championship won't be defended tonight, because they are still WWE tag team champions. Coach tells them they will defend the belts tonight, in a 10-team, 20-man tag team battle royal from teams across the brands. Starting now. (Hold on, are there enough tag teams to pull this off?)

Match #1 -- Tag Team Battle Royal -- World Tag Team Championship (Booker and Finlay vs. Sabu and RVD vs. The Highlanders vs. Cryme Tyme vs. Elijah Burke and Matt Striker vs. Deuce and Domino vs. Jim Duggan and Eugene vs. Kenny Dykstra and Chris Masters vs. John Cena and HBK)

(I was right, most of these teams are just two superstars paired up. I always thought the tag team belts should be unified, with the tag team division exclusive to RAW. This is ridiculous. And has anyone noticed that there are only nine teams involved not ten?)

In the match itself, Dykstra is the first out, which means Masters also has to go. Cryme Tyme is out next, with Eugene following next. Deuce drops Rory, eliminating the Highlanders. Cena drops Deuce over the top with an F-U. Finlay tosses Striker, with RVD out next. Booker and Finlay square off with the champs. Finlay works on Cena, while Booker puts the boots to HBK. Cena drops Finlay onto the apron, and HBK finishes him off with Sweet Chin Music.

Winner: John Cena and Shawn Michaels

Coach stops the celebration, telling the champs he foresaw this outcome, so this match was only part one. The second battle royal starts now, and the Hardys head to the ring.

Match #2 -- Tag Team Battle Royal -- World Tag Team Championship (The Hardys vs. London and Kendrick vs. Gregory Helms and Chavo vs. Marcus Cor Von and Kevin Thorn vs. Cade and Murdoch vs. Viscera and Val Venis vs. Sandman and Dreamer vs. Dave Taylor and William Regal vs. Nitro and The Miz vs. John Cena and HBK)

(Who did Nitro upset that he got paired with The Mix? In fact, they sound like a cheesy '80s sitcom. Next on Nitro and The Miz; Nitro has a big dinner with his boss, but The Miz can't cook!)

(Wait, why are Kendrick and London involved? Could this mean my dream may come true and the belts are going to be unified?)

Val Venis hits the floor first. Regal is out next, and Tommy Dreamer also hits the floor. HBK fights his way under the bottom rope as we go to commercial.

HBK kicks Nitro off the top turnbuckle with Sweet Chin Music, but then tosses his own partner over the top rope. He looks at Cena and says one goal. So we will have new tag team champions, tonight. (Come on London and Kendrick.) And Kendrick promptly eliminates himself while taking Chavo out of the ring with a hurricarana. The Hardys are left with Cade and Murdoch. Jeff gets kicked in the face after an inverted atomic drop. Matt hits the Side Effect on Murdoch, and a neckbreaker on Cade. Both Hardys climb the turnbuckle and hit leg drops on Cade and Murdoch. Murdoch whips Matt into the corner, and charges. Matt counters with a back body drop, but Murdoch lands on the apron. Murdoch clubs Matt, but Jeff hit Poetry in Motion on Murdoch and sends him to the floor.

Winners: The Hardys

Timbaland is in the house.

The Grish wants to know why HBK eliminated his own partner. HBK says the tag titles were confusing Cena. Orton interrupts, telling HBK that the only reason Cena wants to face HBK is because he knows he can beat HBK. Orton says Cena can't beat him. HBK says Cena isn't the better man, and neither is Orton.

Coach is trying to convince Vince not to go out to the ring. We only see want Vince sees, so we can't see the bald boss. What we do see is various superstars reacting to Vince's new look. All Ron Simmons has to say is, "DAMN!"

Vince struts to the ring in a stylish fedora. Vince tells the crowd that his match at Wrestlemania was a travesty and it is all Austin's fault. So he tells Lillian Garcia to announce him as the winner of the Battle of the Billionaires. And later tonight, Lashley will defend his ECW title against Umaga. Vince disappoints the crowd when he says no one will see him bald again. The hat he has one has been surgically attached to his head. The ECW champion heads to the ring, and stares Vince down. The chairman throws and punch that Lashley easily side steps and then knocks off Vince's hat. Vince is stunned and tries to hide his head. First he grabs a towel, which Lashley takes. Then Vince tries to make off with JR's hat before making like an ostrich and hiding his head under the ring. Lashley lifts up the apron, and Vince tries to hide under Lillian's skirt. Lashley rips the skirt off, (thank you, Bobby!) and a humiliated Vince high tails it to the back.

Match #3 -- Ric Flair and Carlito w/ Torrie vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team

Benjamin and Carlito start off by locking up. Carlito gains the advantage, and catches Benji with a shoulder block. Shelton responds with a lariat clothesline. After a head butt to Haas, Carlito hits a knee lift to Benjamin. Carlito attacks Haas on the apron, and then walks in a kick from Benjamin. Haas tags in, slamming Carlito into the corner. Charlie punches Carlito in the abs, and then tags in Shelton. Carlito elbows out of a head lock, and hits a springboard elbow after ducking a clothesline. Flair gets the hot tag, and lights up TWGTT with chops. Benjamin is finally able to counter with a back body drop, and Haas sets him up for the leap frog. Carlito cuts off Benjamin with a low bridge, and hits Haas with a chop block. Flair locks in the figure four on Haas, and Haas taps out.

Winner via submission: Ric Flair and Carlito

JR and King recap the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame ceremonies.

The King brags about the coverage of Wrestlemania. The Grish interview Timbaland, who says he is here as a fan. Timbaland does say he would like to put Ashley in an upcoming video. Oh, and they plug his new record, which streets today.

Melina comes to the ring for a special photo-op, but first she tells Timbaland that he wants her for his video. The camera starts to snap, but the posing is cut short by Mickie James, who takes Melina down hard. Mickie lands some punches, and then spikes Melina with a DDT. Mickie tells the photogs to take a picture of that.

Match #4 -- The Great Khali vs. Super Crazy

Seriously? Why?

Winner via pinfall: The Great Khali

Vince is back in his office and he isn't happy. Armando Estrada tries to calm Vince down. Vince snaps one of Estrada's cigars, and tells Estrada that he will team with Umaga tonight, and they better not fail.

Maria interviews the new World Tag Team Champions. Jeff says this is something to be proud of, and Matt is just happy to be back on RAW.

Another look at The Condemned. This time a Detroit crowd got to see the film over the weekend, well, they seemed to enjoy it, but these are people the watch the Lions 16 weeks a year.

Edge walks out on stage to run his mouth. He says a lesser man would not be out here tonight after what happened last night at WM. Edge is quite clear on if Cena is still champ, HBK is getting a rematch, and Randy Orton is demanding a shot. Edge lays out the reasons why he is better than HBK, Orton and Cena. Edge calls himself the best, and all will be forced to call him the next WWE champion.

Match #5 -- Umaga and Armando Estrada vs. Bobby Lashley -- Handicap ECW Title Match

Umaga attacks before Lashley can even get into the ring. After knocking him to the floor, Umaga tosses the ECW champ head first into the ring steps. Umaga ducks a clothesline, but opens up his partner to be driven into the corner. Umaga saves his manager. Lashley tries for a sunset flip, but Estrada kicks him in the stomach, allowing Umaga to drop onto him. Lashley shoots off the ropes, and right into a Samoan drop. Umaga climbs the middle rope, but Lashley gets his knees up on the drop. Lashley hits a DDT that has no effect. Umaga kicks Lashley in the face. Estrada gets a shot in, before leaping from the ring. Lashley gets a shot in, but runs into a belly to back suplex. Umaga head butts the ECW Champ, but Estrada can't make the pin. Lashley fights his way out of the corner, but runs into a throat chop. Umaga starts to choke Lashley in the corner. Lashley fights back, but is cut off by a clothesline. Lashley collapses in the corner, and Umaga stomps away. Umaga hits the whip lash, and Estrada picks up Lashley for the Samoan Spike. Lashley kicks Umaga in the face, and then hits a clothesline. Lashley ducks a swing from Umaga, and counters with a spear coming off the ropes. Estrada breaks the pinfall, and Lashley pushes him into the corner. Lashley sidesteps a splash from Umaga, who lands on Estrada. A shoulder block coming off the ropes sends Umaga from the ring. Lashley picks up Estrada and nails the Dominator. Lashley covers Estrada for the three count, and retains his ECW Title.

Winner via pinfall: Bobby Lashley


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    Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is starting an official petition to unify the tag team title belts. Failing that he'll just swipe the WWE Tag Team belts the next time they come to Hershey.