So the August 18th edition of RAW finished up and like usual, there were things that worked and things that didn't. Time for the run down.
Our opening segment is none other than Chris Jericho coming out to talk about the incident last night. Now, while I like Jericho and think this story is interesting, you should never open a show with talking. There is no possible way to have someone tune in at the top of the hour and continue to watch your show if there is no action. It doesn't matter who comes out. It's just not going to work. With that said, Jericho is amazing on the mic. He found a way of making his point without screaming or raising his voice.
Up next is Batista versus Paul Burchill. Like usual, this match really didn't add to any story that is currently running. The commentators kept referring to Batista's injured knee, but he hardly sold the injury the entire match. Even after Burchill attacked the knee, Batista was walking around just fine. The match was to quick and it didn't showcase Burchill at all. I'm not saying that he's an amazing wrestler, but he's good enough to keep the fans entertained if he's allowed to work.
We then get a segment with Mike Adamle introducing Carlito's brother, Primo Colon. With what I'm assuming is foreshadowing the way his career will be handled in the WWE, Adamle runs off before Primo Colon can say a word just to talk to John Cena. I figured this worked because it shows that the Adamle character is a scatter brain but it really shouldn't have happened while trying to introduce a new superstar. Unless this is part of a larger program between Adamle and Primo, this was a bad idea. Cena then proceeds to confront Batista and congratulates him on his win. This worked great because it shows the sportsmanship that both men have and sets up for a rematch in a few months.
Jillian and Katie Lea versus Kelly Kelly and Mickie James is after the break. The fact that Mickie James is not involved in any segment with Beth Phoenix shows that the WWE doesn't really care about the stories with the women's division. Mickie should be feuding with Beth right now and not teaming with Kelly Kelly in some meaningless women's tag match. This match had no story and didn't even start one. I'm assuming that it was used to give Kelly Kelly and Jillian more in ring experience, but that's what house shows are for. For whatever reason, everyone was really off in this match. I expected it from Kelly but not the other three. The match lasted a lot longer than it should have but the audience was really hot for it the entire time, so I guess the WWE got what they wanted. So expect to see more random women's tag matches.
JBL versus Jamie Noble was a waste of time and talent. Every time JBL loses a big match, they give him some random jobber to squash. This time they picked Jamie Noble, who is quite possibly one of the best all around wrestlers the company has. Jamie Noble should be putting on some of the best matches the WWE has seen but he will never be allowed to. The only reason I see is because of his size. Noble gets squashed and looks terrible at the end. He takes three Clotheslines From Hell before the referee stops the match. However, JBL was going for a pin when the referee called for the bell. This doesn't make any sense. If the referee wanted to call the match, then he should have done so when JBL gave him the third clothesline. Instead, he calls for it when JBL is trying to finish the match. There's no logic in that finish. The referee should have just counted the pin fall and ended the match. It's endings like this that make the company look bad. Either JBL or the referee were off tonight.
Adamle is out with his next big announcement. He introduces a new match for the next pay per view. It's called a Championship Scramble. The rules are simple: The match will go for twenty minutes. In that time, the five men involved can score a pin fall or a submission victory and be crowned the new champion. But the match continues until the twenty minutes has expired. Whomever has the title when the bell rings will be crowned the new champion. This is such an independent wrestling idea. Not that it's a bad idea, but it's strange to see the WWE try to pull something off like this. I would expect TNA to do something like this because of how convoluted to concept is but it should work. An interesting note: before the break, it was advertised that Shane and Stephanie would make a major announcement regarding the next pay per view main event. However, Adamle made the announcement. I'm wondering if he was suppose to represent them or did he jump the gun and make the announcement before they could come out on stage.
Handicap match seeing Priceless versus John Cena is up. This is the type of match that made the fans hate Cena to begin with. The entire match, Priceless was dominating. Then, right at the end, without warning, Cena retaliates and gets Rhodes to tap out to the STFU in under five seconds. This storytelling doesn't make sense either. Priceless are the World Tag Team Champions, which should mean they are the best tandem wrestlers on the roster. The entire match was double team moves, but somehow Cena still gets the win. This made Priceless look so incredibly weak and hurt the credibility of the Tag Team Titles. No one likes a bullet proof character and they continue to have Cena play that role. The most interesting thing to happen in this match was Cryme Tyme coming in and stealing the titles. Cryme Tyme has been number one contender for the titles twice but never had a match. It seems that they are finally going to have a title match and it's a good thing that they are doing little things here and there to get the audience behind the feud.
The next segment is used to show us pre-recorded footage of Shawn Michaels and his wife leaving the arena last night. While it was very good sell by HBK with how angry he was, this seemed like a waste of time. This is something that they could he advertised as a WWE.com exclusive and not use TV time on it.
C.M. Punk has an interview next and decides to use his time to help sell the Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho story. Punk is playing the noble hero as he claims that he will make Jericho pay for what he did to Michaels wife. Interesting, but C.M. Punk shouldn't be brought into someone else's story line. He's the champion. He should have his own story lines.
Santino Marella versus D-Lo Brown was a fun match to watch. Typical move sets from both men but when D-Lo goes for the frog splash, Beth gets in the way. Seeing Beth stand between D-Lo and Santino was possibly the moment of the night. It showed so much character for both Beth and Santino and helped build that story so well. With Beth slapping D-Lo and Santino taking the beating from D-Lo and Kofi Kingston, this was the best use of time on a story this entire night.
Kane is out to explain his actions from the week before with Rey Mysterio's mask. I really don't think Kane should cut promos. He's suppose to be a dark and mysterious man. Why does he talk? It also feels that they are trying too hard to put him over as a heel. The new music doesn't work for me. It seems too evil and comes off as cartoony. Although, it was a really good explanation for Mysterio to be gone for so long. Appearently, Kane beat him up in a parking lot six weeks ago and that's why we haven't seen him. But this leads into a few bad story ideas. Kane says that he didn't kill Mysterio, he just beat him up. Then, the very next sentence, Kane asks "Is he alive or is he dead?" You just told us he's alive. Whoever wrote this wasn't thinking to clearly. Batista's appearance made sense. What didn't make sense was Batista now selling the knee injury. He hobbled down to the ring like he was shot. Why couldn't he have done this earlier in the night? Instead, he looks like he has a reoccurring knee problem that comes and goes whenever it feels like. It was a good idea to have Kane beat up Batista because it makes him look that much more dangerous. With Batista coming off a big win against Cena, this really didn't hurt him.
We're at the main event that pits Chris Jericho against C.M. Punk. The crowd never settled down. They were so pro Punk, that the commentators didn't really call the match because they didn't need to sell how amazing it was. Jericho is brilliant in the ring. He had some small mannerisms that showed he was a little worried about C.M. Punk. As he should because Punk is the champion. Punk pulls out several moves that he hasn't done since his independent days, which is a great treat for the Chicago fans. The pacing and storytelling were great in this match and really show how great both of these men really are. But whoever had the idea of making Jericho get the upper hand during the commercial break is an idiot. The fans at home are emotionally involved in the match, so why does it make sense to have the face be on top before the break and when you come back, the hell is in control. It makes the home audience lose all interest because they weren't there for the turn. The turn should always happen right before the break, like a mini cliffhanger. Jericho held onto the Walls of Jericho too long for my tastes. Again, I think that submission holds should be the most dominating force in the WWE and no one should be in one for more than five seconds. Lance Cade interferes in the match and causes Punk to lose. Normally, this would be a perfect ending. Showing Jericho as the ultimate heel by beating the face in a cheap way, but not tonight. Punk is the champion for a reason and the champion should never be pinned, even in a non title match. It makes Punk look like a fluke and no matter how many times they have him win on pay per view, he looks like a bad champion if he loses four out of the five matches that everyone sees. Also, wrestlers shouldn't job in there hometowns. If the hometown hero always loses in the hometown, than no one will cheer for him anymore.
Overall, a little bit above average show. Not too many good decisions story wise, but an overall good quality show non the less. My rating: B
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