RAW Recap 9/8/08 or Damage Control
The first RAW after Unforgiven is over and we all know this was the damage control episode. After an abysmal pay per view, the WWE need to get this show right.
We open up with Chris Jericho coming to the ring for a promo. Never open the show with talking. It's as simple as that. I don't understand why the WWE can't figure this out. It was interesting to note that Jericho didn't get a very big response as a heel champion. For now, I'm going to assume that the audio being picked up from the audience may have been off a little because Jericho has consistently been getting good reactions from the live crowds. Next week will prove whether my theory is legit. Jericho did bring up an interesting point about both of his title reigns. His first title victory, he beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night. His second title win, he beat JBL, Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Batista in the same match. Jericho always seems to get important wins for his title victories. Adamle comes out and announces C.M. Punk versus Chris Jericho in a steel cage match for next week, claiming that Punk is too injured to wrestle tonight. Which makes me think that Randy Orton's kick of Doom is being booked way too powerful. He already "ended" Rob Van Dam's career because of it and shelved so many superstars. If it's that dangerous, why hasn't the board of directors banned the move because it keeps injuring their investments? This kick needs to be toned down. Adamle then announces the main event which will see Jericho fight Batista.
The first thing we see after break is Candice Michelle coming out to watch the next match. Mickie James versus Beth Phoenix for the women's title is next. It is then announced that Candice will face the winner of the women's title match at No Mercy. Now, let me get this straight. Candice, who has been out of action for 10 months and only had one match since her return is now the number one contender. How does this booking make any sense? If they want to play up that Candice pinned Beth in a tag match, then wouldn't Kelly Kelly have a number one contender spot for pinning Beth in a singles match? Candice does not deserve to be fighting for the title anytime soon. She needs to be removed from the active roster and become a manager. For some one with as much ring time as she has had, she is terrible. She showed some improvement early on, but then she peaked. She adds nothing to the division and is completely worthless. The match itself was also sub par. Mickie seemed off tonight as she missed several spots. She is usually very consistent with her work but something wasn't right. The entire match, the commentators only talked about Candice at ring side, which seemed to belittle both Mickie and James. Beth gets the win after she hits Mickie with the Alabama Slam, seemingly out of nowhere. Now we get to see Beth versus Candice at No Mercy. What I found most surprising about this was the fact that the very first match announced for the next pay per view is a women's title match, which usually get forgotten by the company.
A backstage segment runs that shows Jamie Noble and Layla discussing Noble's win last week. He asks Layla to accompany him to the ring for good luck. The match sees Noble versus William Regal. This match was very solid and fast paced. Just like last week, this match should have been much longer as both of these men can really work. The end sees Regal connecting with a running knee to the temple. After the match, Regal walks up to Layla and extends his hand. She reluctantly accepts and the two walk away. Layla keeps looking back at Noble laid out in the ring. I really like where this story is going as it has so much potential. Hopefully, it will lead to a match at No Mercy and these two and give us the match of the night.
JBL comes out next for a match and his opponent is none other than Charlie Haas, dressed as JBL. This gimmick that Haas is working is becoming very entertaining now. The fans seem to understand the joke and actually gave him a "C-H-L" chant. JBL cuts a promo demanding respect before walking out of the match and getting counted out. Hopefully, this will lead to a JBL/Charlie Haas feud.
Backstage we see JBL walking and he bumps into Kelly Kelly and Batista laughing at him. JBL explains that he deserves respect before storming off again.
We cut to Mysterio backstage doing a promo about Kane. This story doesn't seem to be progressing in any direction right now. Mysterio acknowledged that he got beat by Kane in a parking lot but he still has his fighting spirit. He wants to fight Kane and prove that he can beat him.
The next match sees The Miz and John Morrison versus Even Bourne and Rey Mysterio. This was by far the best match on RAW tonight. There were same amazing double team moves from both groups and quick tags for each to show how well they work as a unit. The match was very exciting and a great choice to have at the top of the hour. Bourne gets the fall on Morrison with the Shooting Star Press. They replayed this move over and over which is great because now more people can see the talent that Even Bourne has and he should be highlighted. After the match Kane appears on the titantron and says that he will destroy Mysterio next week and reveals that he has his mask back. Now, Mysterio shows fear while watching the promo, which continues in theme of this story; not making any sense. Mysterio just finished a promo about how he can't wait to exact his revenge on Kane but then when he's confronted about it, he gets scared. Did two different people come up with the promo and the match? Are they not communicating with each other?
Randy Orton comes out and cuts a promo. He talks about how he single handily took out C.M. Punk and Chris Jericho should be thanking him. Priceless and Manu come out and call Orton out on this. They tell Orton that they should be thanking them for taking out Punk. This segment was coming off great as it was the first time that Priceless stood up for themselves against Orton. But then Orton slapped DiBiase and left the ring. There are three of them and Orton is injured. They look like the weakest people on the roster right now for not defending themselves against this. I know Orton is still injured and probably not cleared to take bumps but the WWE shouldn't be booking him in anything physical if he can't take a beating.
Priceless and Manu stay in the ring for their match against Cryme Tyme and Kofi Kingston. This match really made the faces look bad. I know it was Manu's first match on RAW and they needed to look dominant but this was too much. The faces barely got any tags or any offense the entire match. To top it off, Manu scores the pin on Shad, the biggest guy on the faces side. It was done in such a manner that Shad wasn't even worked over so it made him look really weak.
Santino Marella comes out and says that he his better than the Mountie because he has held his intercontinental title for three weeks now. Snitsky comes out and the match was so quick that it truly was pointless. Santino gets the win with a roll up after Snitsky misses the boot in the corner. Santino's character is beginning to feel forced and is starting to lose it's notoriety.
Backstage, we see Kelly Kelly talking to Adamle about how it wasn't fair for C.M. Punk to be pulled from the match. Chris Jericho comes in and tells Adamle that he wasn't being treated fairly because he was too injured from the night before. Adamle says that Jericho owes him a favor because he put him in the title match last night and demanded a main event caliber match on RAW tonight.
The main event starts and we see Jericho take on Batista. I don't understand why this wasn't a title match, especially after they kept repeating all night that Jericho stole the title from Batista at Unforgiven. It would have made more sense to have C.M. Punk fight the winner of this match next week in the steel cage. The match has Batista dominating early on before Adamle comes out stops it. He says that he isn't treating Jericho fair and makes it a handicap match. JBL is added in as Jericho's partner and it becomes a typical handicap match. Batista gets beat the entire time because every time he gets the advantage, he would get double teamed. Seeing Lance Cade just sitting in the corner watching the match made me realize just how irrelevant he has become. He is just a wasted talent right now and they really need to do something with him. Jericho gets the pin after JBL hits the clothesline from hell. This match proved to be very uneventful. They could have had the same result if JBL came in and got Jericho a DQ for attacking Batista if it was a singles match. Also, I noticed that the commentators said that JBL wanted to earn some respect from Batista, so he beat the hell out of him. If that's the general idea that heels have to earn respect, than Priceless really comes off as weak now for not standing up to Orton.
Overall, a decent show. More downs than ups but all the stories feel they are progressing in a proper manner. The Jericho champion thing still bothers me because he should have fought C.M. Punk one on one for the title. The Kane story seems to be fizzling out slowly as it wasn't a major topic off discussion the entire night like it was for the past few weeks. Aside from that story, everything is salvageable. My rating: B-
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