NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was a case of whodunit on the first Raw broadcast after the explosive events of Backlash. As Raw aired live from Nashville, one by one the top Superstars on the Raw roster turned up beaten and unresponsive in the backstage areas of the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
At the top of the show, Mr. McMahon scheduled a match between WWE Champion John Cena and Shawn Michaels. The WWE Chairman and new ECW World Champion guaranteed a title opportunity for Michaels next week if he conquered Cena later in the night. But the highly anticipated match never occurred, as HBK was found laid out in the locker room area. Soon, both Edge and Randy Orton were found in similar states. Mr. McMahon came up with a solution, and sent word through Executive Assistant Jonathan Coachman for Cena to go to the ring.
Cena stepped into the ring to demand that the anonymous attacker show himself. Fans suspected that anyone able to knock off three of the toughest Superstars in sports-entertainment would be nothing short of a giant of a man. When all 420 pounds of The Great Khali stepped into view, all suspicions were confirmed.
The monstrous Punjabi Warrior wasted no time in pummeling the WWE Champion. At one point in their confrontation, Cena was able to lift the behemoth for an FU, but was soon back on the defensive thanks to a stunning blow from one of Khali's enormous elbows. After taking The Champ out, Khali raised the WWE gold to a staggering height above his head, letting fans around the globe know that he had his sights set on the most coveted prize in all of sports-entertainment.
Earlier in the night, Mr. McMahon forced ECW Original Rob Van Dam to square off against Umaga. Mr. McMahon, the self-proclaimed "King of the Extreme" acted out of anger at the harsh words Van Dam and the rest of the ECW Originals had for the Chairman after his surprising victory over Bobby Lashley at Backlash (WATCH THE VIDEO). Although RVD put in a tremendous effort against the Samoan Bulldozer, a Samoan Spike helped Umaga ground the high-flyer and pick up the 1-2-3.
In an emotional case of friends turned foes, Edge and Randy Orton battled it out in a grueling match. Ever since the days leading up to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 23, Rated-RKO has been falling apart at the seams. Edge and Orton were scheduled to clash last week on Raw, but were forced to wait a week due to the Michaels vs. Cena match lasting nearly an hour!
After a brutal run-in with a turnbuckle left Orton bleeding from the head, a huge Spear from Edge left Orton on his back long enough for the Rated-R Superstar to secure the pin. Not satisfied with a victory over his former tag team partner, a fuming Edge informed Maria that he deserved an opportunity to challenge Cena for the WWE Championship.
In other Raw action, Carlito apologized to Ric Flair for losing his cool on last week's Raw. Just as Carlito & Flair looked like they were about to claim a win in their match against The World's Greatest Tag Team, Carlito viciously attacked his mentor and left the ring. No stranger to surprise attacks, the veteran Flair proved that he truly is the "Dirtiest Player in the Game" by giving Carlito a severe pounding as he tried to leave the ringside area.
Jeff Hardy defeated Johnny Nitro with a Swanton Bomb that seemed to come from outside of the stratosphere. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch (who fell to The Hardys at Backlash) provided commentary for the match and gave Jeff a standing ovation after his win. Cade was heard exclaiming: "After last night, we have all the respect in the world for you!" The Southern tag team wanted to shake Hardy's hand, but the fan-favorite refused. Were Cade & Murdoch up to no good?
Mickie James got some retribution for her loss against Melina at Backlash by teaming with Candice to defeat Victoria and the A-list Women's Champion. Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella gave his first televised interview when he sat down with Todd Grisham to tell fans a little bit about himself.