One of the more hyped RAW's in recent memory takes place and like usual, it's time to figure out what creative got right and what went wrong.
The show actually opens with wrestling. Not just any match though, but a world title cage match seeing Chris Jericho defend against C.M. Punk. As happy as I was to see a match open RAW, the fact that they put the advertised main event as the opening was a bad idea. The entire show was advertised for this match. Why would anyone want to continue watching if they already got their main event?
With that said, this match really could have been better. There were some good spots, especially with the Walls of Jericho, but something seemed flat about this match. Maybe it was the fact that they were in the open and had less than 20 minutes to work. For the story that they created, this match should have been over 30 minutes and very violent. It felt like creative just gave up on C.M. Punk by not giving him a legitimate shot at his title.
The end was terrible. If they wanted to have Jericho fall out of the ring and continue the whole "barley retaining his title" story, they could have booked it in a way that didn't make Punk look bad. Punk giving him a headbutt next to the open door made Punk look stupid. He should have known that Jericho was going to fall in that direction.
A better ending would have been Punk delivering the Go To Sleep, have Jericho stumble back and in between the ropes. He hits the cage door, which is rigged with a trick latch, and he breaks out of the cage to the floor. Then the claim could be made that Punk had him beat but it just turned out that Jericho is really lucky.
Adamle is backstage talking to Kelly Kelly, who he refers to as K-Squared, When the newest superstar, Dolph Diggler, introduces himself. Jericho shows up and begins to complain to Adamle about being overworked, which sounded more like a shoot than anything else.
Kane is backstage wearing his old mask, which got one of the biggest pops of the night. He then begins to talk about why he pulled off the mask, claiming he did intentionally, to try and better relate to the fans. Appearently, WWE forgot their own storyline. Kane lost the mask in a title versus mask match, that Rob Van Dam got him involved in.
After Kane lost the match, he removed the mask and beat the hell out of RVD. If Kane was trying to connect to the fans, why would he attack RVD unprovoked? Kane has never had continuity in his character and it's really sad to see this happening to him.
Even Bourne shows up and says that Kane will lose his match tonight. Kane laughs at him, as he should because Bourne does not come off as intimidating and shouldn't have walked in on Kane like this.
Jillian Hall comes out for her match against Candice Michelle. Beth Phoenix comes out while Candice makes her entrance and gets no fan fare from the audience because of it. This match was abysmal. Candice can not wrestle and it's sad to see her getting the push when there are so many more talented women on the roster.
I don't understand why Vince is pushing her down everyone's throat. The fans didn't care about this match at all. There was no reaction and a small "We Want Puppies" chant began.
Candice hits the Unprettier, or the Candy-wrapper, for the win. I was really hoping she forgot about this move, seeing as she jumps backwards to do it as opposed to dropping straight down like you're suppose to. Jumping backwards doesn't give the opponent the proper room to land and you could cause an injury doing it this way. There was a guy in the front row that signaled for Christian Cage, which was very appropriate.
Beth tried to get in the ring only to be caught off guard by the sloppiest drop kick I've seen in awhile. Beth refused to enter, which I don't blame her. Candice is working unsafe and I wouldn't want to be injured by her either. Storyline wise, this was a good move having Candice sneak attack Beth. It still shows how dominate Beth is in this feud.
JBL versus Tommy Dreamer is up next. I feel really bad for Dreamer. He's one of the more talented guys they have on the roster and he keeps getting job duty. The match was quick, which doesn't make sense because Dreamer is an ECW original and it should take a lot to put him away. Not a Clothesline From Hell.
JBL sits in the ring and demands to be named number one contender. Orton comes out and continues to insult JBL and the entire roster. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix come out and demand an apology from Orton as does JBL. It's good to see some people standing up for themselves against Orton. It never made sense to me that people fear him, when he is literally a one armed man right now. It just makes the roster look bad.
Batsita comes out and claims that he'll win the title soon and take everyone down that gets in his way, including Beth Phoenix. Adamle announces that he will name a number one contender at the end of the show and that everyone needs to wait. Batista then attacks everyone, except Orton.
The segment sees a great spot with Batista giving Beth a Spinebuster on Santino. This came off very well and hopefully they'll start having Beth fight in the men's division.
Priceless and Manu versus Kofi Kingston, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and Charlie Haas is up next. Haas is pretending to be Jim Ross this week, which doesn't make sense seeing as how he isn't a wrestler. It would have made more sense if he came out as Elvis because they were in Memphis tonight.
The fans seem to be behind Haas one hundred percent with this gimmick. If Haas has found his connection, I hope he runs with it and makes everyone realize just how great of a wrestler he really is.
The match itself was pretty solid. Decent amount of time and showcased all six people in the match. The end sees Haas on the wrong side of a Million Dollar Lag Sweep.
JBL and Jericho have a good exchange of dialogue backstage when JBL asks for a title match. Jericho brings up his match with Randy Orton back in December that JBL got involved in. It's strange that the WWE will remember certain things in the story line but can't keep continuity in others.
Jamie Noble squares off against Paul Burchill. Just like Burchill's last match about a month ago, it really didn't show case him at all. But it did make Noble look great. He got the win with an armbar and the tap out came quick, the way that all submissions should work. Layla comes out and officially turned heel by claiming she never liked Noble. Regal comes out and takes her to the back.
This story is starting to grow some legs but the fans don't seem to be behind it just yet. Creative needs to find a way to spice it up so we can get Noble versus Regal at a pay-per-view. It was interesting to see Noble involved with all British affiliated workers tonight; William Regal, Layla, Paul Burchill, and Katie Lea. I'm beginning to wonder if this was intentional.
Adamle is backstage talking to Lance Cade when Batista comes out and demands a title match. This segment really shows just how useless Cade has become. He hasn't done anything since he joined Jericho and I don't understand why they continue to have him follow Jericho around. He should be focusing on the intercontinental title.
Kane versus Rey Mysterio is the main event for the evening. Picking this as the main event was rather insulting to C.M. Punk. For whatever reason, it feels that the company lost faith in him. He's still one of the more over wrestlers in the company yet he doesn't get main event spots and loses his title in a demeaning way.
The match was pretty good with a lot of back and forth action. No one man had the advantage for a controlling portion of the match. The end sees Kane being DQed when he wouldn't stop attacking Rey in the corner. Evan Bourne comes to the rescue and the two take out Kane.
It's great to see Evan Bourne playing a role in a big feud on RAW. He needs as much exposure as he can get. Bourne has the ability to bring in more viewers if worked properly and he should be officially moved to RAW for this purpose.
The end of the night sees Jericho in the ring doing a promo about how great he is. Adamle comes out and works a 4 star match with the microphone. It was awkward listening to him stumble over his own words. He seemed very nervous for whatever reason. He announces that Jericho's opponent at No Mercy will be none other than Shawn Michaels.
Michaels comes out and says that they will have a ladder match. Now, this makes sense in the story for Shawn to get a title shot seeing as how he beat Jericho the night he won the title. But this really is a slap in the face to C.M. Punk. Punk clearly lost his match earlier in the night to questionable circumstances, but he's not allowed another match. He's just put on the back burner and will probably be forgotten about.
Overall, this show was decent. Some good areas here and there but a lot of random nothing and pretty boring segments. Jericho/Shawn is already so old that adding the title doesn't make it any better. It just makes me not care about the World Title right now. The show could have revolved more around the former champion and Jericho as opposed to who will be the number one contender. My rating: C