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~Monday Night Raw~
April 2nd, 2007
Joe Louis Arena
There were tears and triumphs, heartbreaks and heroes, but with WrestleMania XXIII now in the history books, the show must go on as Monday Night Raw braces itself for the Backlash!
Last night saw the crowning of a new WWE Champion, as Rob Van Dam prevailed in a Triple Threat Match against the former champion, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H. It was a great moment as Van Dam pulled off a win that some would consider an upset infront of a boisterous home-state Michigan crowd. With Raw also emanating from Detroit tonight, Van Dam will no doubt be looking to deliver yet another great performance infront of the Michigan faithful, kicking off his reign as WWE Champion with a bang!
But while WrestleMania XXIII was perhaps the highlight of Van Dam's career, it was certainly one of the darkest nights for Shawn Michaels. Michaels had entered Ford Field the WWE, determined to yet again steal the show at WrestleMania, and in the process retain his title. While Michaels' performance was at times breathtaking, he met fierce competition from Van Dam and 'The Game'. Triple H has long sought a one-on-one opportunity with Michaels as he continues to seek revenge for the betrayal at the hands of his former D-Generation X colleague two months. With the WWE Championship now no longer an issue between the two, will Triple H get his wish and finally get Michaels alone in the ring? Or will his faith yet again come to Michaels' rescue, allowing him to dodge yet another bullet?
WrestleMania XXIII was also a great night for John Cena, as thanks to a little help from 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Cena overcame Bobby Lashley, sending a clear message to the McMahon Empire that nothing will break Cena's spirit or resolve. Despite Mr. McMahon himself being the Special Guest Referee, and plenty of outside interference from Shane McMahon, Cena prevailed when Austin, the original choice as referee, made a triumphant return, removing Vince and Shane from the equation and allowing Cena to pick up the win. But, one thing Vince has long been known for is holding a grudge, and despite his win, Cena will no doubt be aware that his troubles with the McMahons are far from. Just what will 'The Evil Genius' Mr. McMahon have in store for Cena tonight?
The Money in the Bank Ladder lived up to it's tradition as eight superstars contested one of the most ferocious ladder matches in WWE. Through all the mayhem, a winner was finally crowned, Raw's own Randy Orton. 'The Legend Killer' picked his moment well, capitalising on the misfortune of others as he stormed up the ladder to success. But Orton has been challenged to meet one of the other Money in the Bank compettitors, Jeff Hardy. A rivalry that has been building between the two over the last month or so escalated in the run up to WrestleMania, and even at Ford Field, the two came to blows on several occasions. Both men will be battered and bruised, but Orton will look to send a clear message to both Rob Van Dam and Batista, that their titles could be lost at any moment.
Elsewhere, two tag team feuds are set to be settled tonight as The Straight Edge Saints meet Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro, while we'll also see the rubber match in the recent series between The Hart Legacy and The Redneck Wrecking Crew, with the champions The World's Greatest Tag Team no doubt watching both matches with a keen interest in their outcomes. Plus, after her victory over Beth Phoenix at WrestleMania, the Women's Champion Mickie James is in action again tonight against Candice Michelle in a non-title matchup. And after his heartbreaking loss to Mr. Kennedy last night, it appeared as if Ric Flair was ready to hang up his boots and head home... for good. Tonight, we'll get the latest on the status of 'The Nature Boy'.
All this and more, live tonight, on Monday Night Raw!
Randy Orton v Jeff Hardy
The Straight Edge Saints v Chris Masters and Johnny Nitro
The Redneck Wrecking Crew v The Hart Legacy
Mickie James v Candice Michelle
Plus! The latest news on the status of 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair.