By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Chris Jericho def. Rene Dupree
Jericho was hot as a babyface coming out of his official turn at WrestleMania 20, so I'm surprised more wasn't done with him that year. There was no way he was going to go after the World Heavyweight Championship on Raw as long as Triple H was in the picture, but he was underutilized beyond his feud with Christian. This was a fun little match that served as a fine farewell for Dupree, who was drafted to SmackDown immediately beforehand. He was another guy I thought had potential to be bigger than he was. He was virtually wasted during his time on SmackDown and was gone from the company not long after.
Kane def. Rico
Kane embarked on a rampage following his humiliating loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 20, hence why this match was so short-lived. Not to say Rico would have lasted any longer otherwise, though. Kane wasn't too much of a threat following 'Mania seeing as how he lost to Edge at Backlash, somehow got a world title shot against Chris Benoit at Bad Blood and lost that, too. He might have actually benefited from moving to SmackDown that year.
Christian def. Spike Dudley
Similar to his rival Chris Jericho, Christian should have felt like a bigger deal coming out of his win at WrestleMania. He was in the same spot after as he was before. Spike and Christian had a thousand matches prior to this point, so this was nothing out of the ordinary, though I don't think Spike should have got in as much offense as he was over a guy who was in the midst of a push. Other than that, this was a short and sweet squash match.
Ric Flair and Batista def. Booker T and Rob Van Dam to Win the World Tag Team Championship
Well, this match came out of nowhere. Flair and Batista dropped the straps to Booker and RVD a month prior on Raw, and unless it was mentioned by the commentary team and I missed it, this wasn't their automatic title rematch. So, what did they do to earn a title shot? Nothing. Obviously, the only reason the match was held was to break up RVD and Booker so RVD could get drafted to SmackDown. The match was all right for what it was, but ultimately forgettable.
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit def. Rhyno
When it was announced that the next Raw draft pick would get a world title shot, I was hoping for a more notable name than Rhyno. I like Rhyno, but needless to say, he was no threat to the title. Nevertheless, he and Benoit had a decent match in the time they were allotted and it gave Benoit his first successful title defense as champion, whereas Rhyno rendered irrelevant on Raw during his run there.
Edge Attacked Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff
I'll talk about each of the draft picks at the end, but few of them packed a punch and felt like they should have occurred during the "supplemental" draft. The injured Edge getting sent to Raw was a pleasant surprise, as was his premier appearance on programming in over a year. However, the reaction to him returning probably wasn't as strong as it should have been since he was in line to receive a push in the remainder of the year as a babyface.
WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Triple H Ended in a No Contest
Had both WWE and World Heavyweight Championships been defended on the same episode of Raw before? I don't know of any other occasion where that would have happened. It almost seemed like fans had their guard up for a title change considering HHH's track record on top, but it was undoubtedly a major match to close the show with, and it was very good up until the non-finish. If I was watching at that time, I would have criticized WWE for giving away a money match on free TV, but it didn't end up mattering given HHH was traded back to Raw days later, anyway. Still, the brawl between the two brands was an exciting way of ending the evening.
Some of the draft picks were questionable (Nidia? Teddy Long? Spike Dudley? Really?), but they definitely put over the surprise element of the concept and how anyone was eligible to be drafted with the moves of Triple H (although it was merely temporary), the returning Edge and even Paul Heyman. This show was light on in-ring action, but you can't go wrong with three title matches in one night. This was also a significant improvement over the 2002 Draft show, which I thought was a complete mess (you can read my full thought on it here). Here's hoping WWE adds more of the Draft shows from 2007 to 2011 to the WWE Network library in the weeks leading up to the return of the Draft this July.
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