By Graham "GSM" Matthews
World Tag Team Champions Shawn Michaels and WWE Champion John Cena Won a 10-Team Battle Royal
I always wondered why WWE opted to put the World Tag Team Championship on Cena and Michaels. I guess it made for a good story heading into their WrestleMania 23 match, but it was a major marquee match regardless, so did they really need to add that extra wrinkle to it? And then I had my question answered by watching these back-to-back Battle Royals: the state of tag team wrestling was mediocre at best. There were a handful of solid tandems, but a majority of the teams in these matches were makeshift duos, and there wasn't enough depth across all three brands. I would have just had them drop the straps here as opposed to going through a second Battle Royal.
The Hardy Boyz Won a 10-Team Battle Royal to Become the New World Tag Team Champions
The idea was that Cena and Michaels were tired from already going through one Battle Royal, but it wasn't their fatigue that cost them the titles. Rather, HBK turned on Cena, causing Cena and himself to get eliminated. Again I ask, what was the point? I wouldn't have changed that, but this must have been WWE's way of getting everyone across all three brands on the post-WrestleMania Raw. The Hardy Boyz were a nice choice to bring excitement back to the tag division and they would go on to feud with Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch over the straps.
ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley Humiliated Mr. McMahon
The Donald Trump talk from McMahon is just hilarious to listen to now considering he could very well be our next U.S. President (God save us all if that happens). At any rate, WWE really should have milked McMahon's baldness for all it was worth. It was a tremendous visual at WrestleMania, but why have Lashley show the world what he looks like without hair a mere 24 hours later? My first thought was that they should have done what CM Punk did in 2010 by waiting a few months before finally shedding him of his hat. Although I didn't agree with that decision, this was an entertaining segment nevertheless and the crowd ate it up.
Ric Flair and Carlito def. The World's Greatest Tag Team
When did Flair and Carlito form an alliance? They showed footage here of the two winning a tag team match on the WrestleMania 23 pre-show, but I forgot what brought them together in the first place. It was a nice little storyline with Flair mentoring Carlito, but it ultimately led nowhere because Flair was drafted to SmackDown two months later. For what this match was worth though, it was well-wrestled and enjoyable while it lasted. Then again, it served as a reminder how underutilized The World's Greatest Tag Team were during their second run together.
Mickie James Attacked Women's Champion Melina
Melina beat James for the Women's Championship back in March, entered a feud with Ashley in time for WrestleMania, only to rekindle her rivalry with James the next night. Needless to say, James vs. Melina should have been the match at 'Mania because of how deplorable Melina vs. Ashley was. Melina improved immensely on her own, but Ashley was never not green in the ring. At least this segment did a decent job of returning to this rivalry.
The Great Khali def. Super Crazy
Khali was a night removed from beating Kane in one of the worst WrestleMania matches of all-time, so he was treading water for a few weeks before going after the WWE Championship. This was a fine filler match because as atrocious as Khali was, he was most effective in squash matches such as this one that were kept short and sweet where he could showcase his dominance. Plus, the massive size difference only worked to Khali's advantage.
ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley def. Intercontinental Champion Umaga and Armando Estrada in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Coming off their hot WrestleMania match, I was honestly surprised how underwhelming this match was. I would have rather kept it a standard singles match between Lashley and Umaga because the Handicap stipulation saw Lashley get the crap kicked out of him for ten minutes before battling back and ultimately emerging victorious. Estrada taking the pinfall protected Umaga, yes, but with Lashley winning cleanly and nothing else happening afterward, it felt like a lackluster conclusion to the show.
Although this was a post-WrestleMania edition of Raw, it was by no means as hot as other episodes from recent years. It was newsworthy for the World Tag Team Championship changing hands and the ECW World Championship being defended in the main event, but that was about it. It wasn't a bad show whatsoever, but it wasn't as epic as you would expect from a post-WrestleMania episode.
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