A sign of what's to come?

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April 17, 2006

Give an "edge" to the Rated-R Superstar.

Edge outsmarted the Cerebral Assassin and speared him into oblivion on RAW in front of an electric, sold-out crowd in St. Louis. And with the win, Edge, John Cena and Triple H have all scored RAW Handicap Match victories. Now that all three have made a statement and their claim to the WWE Championship, it all comes down to the Triple Threat Match at Backlash on April 30.

To complete the trifecta, Mr. McMahon placed Triple H in a Handicap Match against both Cena and Edge. But in the end, it was The Game who had his choice of Superstars to smash with his trusty sledgehammer. With Edge playing possum, Triple H chose to level Cena with the weapon. But as he turned he walked right into Edge's spear. The groggy referee recovered in time to count three as Edge picked up an important victory with Backlash on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Mr. McMahon announced a new religion on RAW: McMahonism, where Mr. McMahon is lord, master and god of all sports-entertainment. Quickly, RAW Superstars Armando Alejandro Estrada and Shelton Benjamin began to "see the light" and became Disciples of McMahonism — and both were handsomely rewarded. Estrada wanted to unleash wrecking ball Umaga on HBK, and he got his wish. Benjamin wanted intervention for his match against RVD at Backlash, which came as well.

In the McMahon-made match, Umaga severely damaged Shawn Michaels before drawing a disqualification for attacking the referee. Afterward, Mr. McMahon said he'd finish off HBK himself, then tangled Michaels' arms in the ring ropes. With HBK helpless, McMahon went for a steel chair. But that's when Michaels appeared to receive some assistance from above. Lightning-quick explosions and a wall of flame prevented an increasingly frustrated McMahon from reaching HBK to do further harm. Eventually McMahon gave up and fled the building in shock and disgust.

Just as unexpected was Shelton Benjamin's opponent for a crucial, stipulation-laden match on RAW. If Benjamin won, then Rob Van Dam's "Money in the Bank" briefcase would be on the line at Backlash; if Benjamin lost, then the Intercontinental Championship would be on the line at the pay-per-view. The catch was that Shelton's Backlash opponent, RVD, got to pick the RAW mystery opponent.

And the Superstar RVD picked came as a total surprise: Shelton's former tag team partner, Charlie Haas. A highly competitive match followed between to superb athletes, but Haas ultimately shocked Shelton with a rollup victory. But after Shelton converted to McMahonism, Lord McMahon placed RVD in a five-on-one match against the Spirit Squad. The numbers eventually overwhelmed Van Dam, and as a result he'll have to put his coveted briefcase up for grabs at Backlash. Now, it's a "Winner Take All" Match where the victor will leave the pay-per-view with both a "banked" world championship opportunity and the Intercontinental Championship.

Also, Trish continued to play head games with Mickie James on RAW. Trish again dressed and behaved exactly like Mickie — even giving Mickie the "present" of Trish's bound-and-gagged ex-boyfriend. But Mickie continued her equally obsessive behavior, dressing like Trish and behaving as if it actually was her boyfriend who had been abducted.

Big Show returned the favor as he chokeslammed Kane, but Kane ultimately rose with a sadistic smile on his face. He also continued to react in a deranged fashion to any mention — or perceived mention — of the release date of his upcoming film, "See No Evil," which opens on May 19.

In addition, Carlito took exception to former teacher Matt Striker taking Carlito's apple for his "classroom." Declaring Striker "not cool," Carlito spit chunks of that apple in Striker's face. But Chris Masters attacked Carlito from behind, incapacitating him with The Master Lock. The two will clash at Backlash.

And J.R. had a sit-down interview with Chavo Guerrero, who quit after a disheartening loss to Shelton Benjamin recently on RAW. Chavo affirmed his decision to end his wrestling career, saying that he let down his fans, family and Eddie Guerrero by losing the match dedicated to his beloved late uncle.

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