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Raw: Night of the handicap matches
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Wrestlmania may have been over a week ago, but the "Backlash" is still being felt. As always, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler call the action. Tonight, WWE stops in Albany, New York, to hopefully settle some things.

RAW General Manager William Regal is in the ring to announce the main event for Backlash. WWE champion Randy Orton walks to the ring and poses. Regal then introduces the number one contender, John Bradshaw Layfield. (Does anyone else hear a giant sucking sound coming from Baltimore? And I’m not talking about the Orioles.) Regal tries to pump up the match, but The Game as other plans. Triple H crashes the party, and walks out to the ring.

Hunter asks Regal if he is out of his mind. HHH tells Orton he really didn’t beat anyone. Hunter points out Orton didn’t do a thing to Cena. Hunter then wants an explanation how a guy who was retired for two years, and then his biggest claim fame is slapping around a midget, is the number one contender. Regal has an idea. He tells HHH to get in the main event at Backlash he needs to beat JBL and Orton in a handicap match.

Match #1 - Umaga vs. Val Venis

(Remember when Venis was a legitimate mid-carder?)

Umaga takes a little longer to squash Venis expected, but the Samoan Bulldozer lays Val out with the Samoan Spike to get the win.

Winner via pinfall: Umaga

It’s survey time on RAW. Did Shawn Michaels do the right thing at Wrestlemania? (If by that you mean follow the script. Yes, yes he did.)

Match #2 - Melina and Jillian Hall vs. Mickie James and Ashley

Mickey hits Melina with an impaler DDT to get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Mickie James and Melina

If you missed the end of RAW last week, well, you just missed it again.

Match #3 - Cade and Murdoch vs. London and Kendrick

London and Kendrick attack at the bell, but Kendrick is tossed over the top rope by Murdoch. London avoids an elbow, but is then shot off the ropes and tripped by Murdoch. Trevor tags in and nails an assisted leg drop. Cade hits a chop to the chest, and then smashes London into the turnbuckle. London fights back with a reverse elbow, and gets the hot tag to Kendrick. Cade slows him down with a power bomb, but Kendrick is able to pull off an inside cradle on Murdoch and get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Kendrick and London

JBL wants to talk, but Orton tells him to listen up. Orton tells JBL to stay out of his way.

Santino is in the back doing lunges when Maria finds him. Maria wants him to stop the "anything goes" match against her. Santino is upset he was stuck in the Bunny match, which he called the lowest form of sports entertainment. Santino says he needs a release, and unless Maria can provided another way, the match is going on. Maria slaps him, and Santino storms off.

Match #4 - Triple H vs. Randy Orton and JBL - 2 on 1 Handicap Match

Orton takes the first shot at Hunter, and stares him down. Both men lock up, and Trips blocks a shot in the corner, and then connects with a clothesline. Orton responds with a European uppercut, and Hunter falls into the heel corner. Hunter fights his way out, and JBL tags in. JBL jaws at Triple H in the corner, but Trips just stares him down. Hunter takes down JBL with a shoulder block, and then slaps on a head lock. Orton makes a blind tag, and beats down Triple H in the corner. JBL then takes a few cheap shots behind the ref’s back. Orton connects with a dropkick, and then stomps away at Triple H. The Game fights his way out of the corner, but right into a power slam. JBL tags back in, and exchange blows, until JBL locks on a sleeper. Trips escapes, connecting with a face buster. Orton makes a blind tag, and JBL argues with him. Triple H blocks the RKO, pushing Orton into JBL. Trips hits the Pedigree on Orton, and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Triple H

William Regal immediately hits the ring, and announces the Triple Threat match. Cena’s music hits, and John makes his way to the ring. He also wants his shot on the title, citing his many victories over Orton, Triple H, and JBL. Cena says the four biggest dogs are in the ring, and wants a fatal four-way at Backlash.

Regal likes the idea, but tells Cena he has to earn his shot just like Triple H did. Cena will face JBL and Triple H in a handicap match, later tonight.

Match #5 - Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes vs. Carlito and Santino

Cody and Carlito starts off. Rhodes with some mat wrestling moves to start off. Holly gets the tag, and Carlito is hit with a dual hip toss. Santino tags in. Carlito hits a cheap shot, but Holly is able to set up the Alabama Slam. The ref is distracted and Carlito hits another cheap shot. Carlito hits a suplex, and then drives a knee into Holly’s back. Holly fights back with a half nelson slam. Rhodes gets the hot tag, slamming Santino. Rhodes runs into a boot, but is able to crotch Santino on the turnbuckle. Rhodes then fights off Carlito, but Santino shoves Rhodes to the floor. Santino follows with a diving head butt and covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Carlito and Santino

Yo, yo, yo, yo, yooooooo! It’s Cryme Tyme’s Wrestlemania clearance sale. First up is a shaker of soul from Rocky Johnson. On sale next is an autographed copy of Maria’s Playboy, but Shad pulls the product off the market. JTG says he has Kim Kardashian’s underwear. Shad is pretty sure the panties belong to Mae Young. Make that money, money, yea, yea.

Now JBL wants to talk to Triple H. JBL tries to talk to Hunter. Triple H was rocking his Ipod. JBL wants to know why no one listens to him. Hunter says it’s because he’s an ass.

Match #6 - Maria vs. Beth Phoenix

Maria slaps Phoenix hard, but Beth counters the handstand moves. Phoenix stands on Maria’s hair, and then hits a back breaker. Maria gets a two count with an inside cradle, and then a kick to the face. Maria connects with a cross body, but Phoenix rolls through. Maria then this an inverted DDT. Phoenix recovers and hits the fisherman’s suplex and covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix

Chris Jericho comes out to host the Highlight Reel. Jericho introduces his first guest, Batista. Y2J then brings out Shawn Michaels. Jericho reveals the poll results and the fans are on HBK’s side. Michaels wants to know if Jericho is also going to make him out to be the bad guy. Flair wanted HBK at Wrestlemania. Jericho shows footage of HBK missing the moonsault off the ropes and landing on the announce table. Jericho says he wanted to end Flair’s career, and questions his remorse. Shawn says he is sorry, but Batista calls him out on it. Batista says Shawn’s ego made him do it. Jericho comes to HBK’s defense. Shawn wants to know if Batista would put his ego aside and questions where his friendship was. HBK tells Batista that Flair knew he wouldn’t have the nerve to face him. Only Shawn could carry the burden of ending Flair’s career. HBK tells Dave to look at his hands, saying there is so much blood on them. Batista says he trusted HBK to do the right thing, and will never trust him again. HBK finally calls out Batista to do something if he has a problem.

Batista says he all ready has; drops the mic and walks off.

John Cena heads to the ring.

Regal is on the phone with the Smackdown GM, and says Shawn Michaels will face Batista at Backlash. Orton walks in and tells Regal he should be treated with more respect. The GM tells Orton he will face him in London next week.

Match #7 - John Cena vs. JBL and Triple H - 2 on 1 Handicap Match

Cena and JBL square off, as Randy Orton heads to ringside. JBL takes advantage, kicking Cena in the head. Hunter looks for a tag, but JBL walks away. Bradshaw continues to beat on Cena, hitting a DDT. Bradshaw clubs Cena to the floor. Cena fights back, whipping Bradshaw into the corner, but runs into nothing but turnbuckle as JBL dodges. Bradshaw hits a shoulder block, and covers for two. Cena fights back again, but is tossed from the ring. JBL bounces Cena off the apron, and then lays him out with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Bradshaw locks in a nerve pinch. Cena powers out of the hold, and then stops short of a big boot. Cena hits a clothesline, and then a shoulder block. JBL goes for a tag, but Hunter backs off. Cena hits a slam, and then a five knuckle shuffle. Bradshaw goes for the tag, but Hunter backs up. Cena sets up for the F-U, but Bradshaw drops out of it. Cena runs into a big boot. JBL and Triple H start to argue and then fight each other. The fight spills to the floor, where Orton tries to break it up. JBL lays out Orton, and the ref restores calm as Triple H and JBL return to the ring. Orton slips into the ring, hitting JBL with the RKO. Cena covers JBL for the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale is loving wrestling in HD. He is even willing to sit through the Diva matches instead of reaching for the fast forward button.