The go home show for RAW finishes up and it's time to see if it's enough to make us want to buy No Mercy this Sunday.
We open up with Batista coming out for a match. Santino comes down and gives a quick promo about how he will be the greatest Intercontinental Champion. It was interesting to see the dynamic work this way. Usually, RAW opens with talking, then a match. This time it was a match that had talking. It felt a little out of place but because the talking wasn't long, it really didn't bother me.
This match was way too fast and saw Batista get the win with the Batista bomb. For whatever reason the WWE feels that the only to push Santino is by having him talk and not his in ring skill. This isn't a great idea as he's in the middle of a story of trying to become the best Intercontinental Champion and should be winning high profile matches.
After the match, JBL attacks Batista and lays him out. I liked this a lot. It was sudden and to the point. Everyone got the message and no one had to get on the mic.
We get Shawn Michaels in a backstage segment. He begins to praise Lance Cade as an amazing wrestler. This is good that creative is finally trying to push Cade. It might be too late though. He's been Jericho's lackey for too long and it might be hard for the fans to get behind him now. It will come down to whether or not he'll be protected in the next few weeks.
Our next match is JTG versus The Miz. It's great to see a feud starting and continuing because of WWE.com. I'm sure this is bringing in more people to the website to watch these videos that are always referred to on TV.
The match was decent. JTG seems like he's still concentrating on the next move as opposed to working the present. If all he does is worry about the next move, then he's not going to be able to tell a good story in the ring.
The fans still seemed to be really behind it though. JTG showed a lot of interesting offense but was hit with the Reality Check to loose the match.
We get Jamie Noble backstage asking Jillian Hall to be his tag team partner in a match later. After Jillian turns him down, Dolph Ziggler shows up and introduces himself. I really like this gimmick. I really do hope when he has matches he shakes some fans hands and all of the ring crews.
Up next is Paul Burchill and Katie Lea versus Jamie Noble. William Regal and Layla come out to watch the match. It was great to see them refer to Regal as the 2008 King of the Ring and gave him a black throne to sit in. I also love the fact that Noble is feuding with all of the active British wrestlers on RAW.
Mickie James comes down to team with Noble. As great as it is to see Mickie in action, it's really sad to see that they have nothing else to do with her and are randomly throwing her into matches.
One thing I did notice about the match is that the WWE is still scared of having men and women fight against each other. Although the match rules said it was okay for the two to fight each other, they never really got into it. I'm sure Noble and Katie Lea could put on an amazing match together as both are fantastic wrestlers.
Noble is really turning it up in his matches now as he's bringing out moves that are rarely seen in the WWE. This week: The Saito Suplex. Which has to be my favorite of all the suplexes as it just looks so devastating.
The match sees Noble hit the arm bar and Burchill tapping out immediately. This is exactly how all submissions should work. This is by far my favorite feud in the WWE and it makes me mad that it won't get the time or attention that it deserves. Both of these men (Noble and Regal) are phenomenal wrestlers and should be allowed to work.
We get a interesting segment with Priceless and Manu looking for Kane backstage. When they find him they ask if he'll be working as a team with them. Kane says that he'll only help himself. I liked this, as Kane is someone that everybody should fear; face or heel.
Lance Cade comes out and cuts a strange promo about how great of a mentor Jericho is compared to Michaels. Cade's push is starting to reek of effort now and it only got into full swing last week. Creative really wants everyone to see him as legit now. Which is fine, but it needs to be paced.
Our next match is a big one. C.M. Punk, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, and Evan Bourne versus Ted Bibiase, Cody Rhodes, Manu, and Kane. This match was at the top of the hour which was a great decision. The match was exciting and kept the audience very entertained.
The biggest problem I had with it was the fact that before break, the faces are on top. During the break, the momentum shifts and the heels are in control. It's such a cheap move as the home audience feels like they've been removed from the match. You're suppose to cheer for the face and get the sense of danger when they begin to lose. If the momentum shifts during break, the fans at home lose that connection.
The ending was great. Kingston goes to jump on Kane while he's stuck in the corner but Kane grabs him at the height of his jump and Choke Slams him for the win. This really showed how powerful Kane was and Kofi was the only face that had no momentum to loose by taking the fall.
We get Adamle in the ring and he announces exactly what I predicted. If Kane wins the match on Sunday, then Rey Mysterio has to unmask. I'm sure because it was just announced 6 days before, they're not going to let Rey lose the mask. If he ever does lose the mask, there's going to be a lot of hype behind it. Hopefully, the WWE will never unmask him as he's too big of a merchandise seller and his marketability will drop significantly if he were to get rid of the mask.
Randy Orton comes to talk down to Adamle. He claims that Adamle is Shane McMahon's lackey. Orton is really starting to bother me now. Unless he's cleared to wrestle, he shouldn't be allowed in the ring. He's just taking time away from other wrestlers that need a push. When Orton comes back, he's still going to be as big as he was, so there's no reason for him to be pushed while injured.
JBL eventually comes out and says that Orton is living in the past and that he'll beat Batista on Sunday. Batista comes out and spears JBL. This worked great as well as Batista is a man of few words and he should only be beating people up to communicate.
Santino Marella is backstage on the phone with someone. When Beth Phoenix approaches him, he acts all strange and pretends that it's a sick boy from the Make A Wish Foundation. Hopefully, creative will think twice about this story as it seems that they're laying the ground work for these two to break up. It's good to see a "power couple" story line going. It's very rare that this can be pulled off and they still have some life left in this story.
The next match sees Kelly Kelly and Candice Michelle versus Beth Phoenix and Jillian Hall. I still don't understand why Kelly isn't fighting for the Women's Title. Not because she's a good wrestler, but because she pinned Phoenix twice in singles none title matches. The continuity in the WWE is terrible.
This match didn't really add anything to what is already going on in the story. Aside from the fact that Candice didn't look as terrible as she usually does but I'm willing to bet it was because she was in a tag match and had fewer ring time.
The end sees Phoenix pinning Kelly with the Glam Slam. Now Beth has the momentum going into No Mercy. Like usual, this isn't a good sign for her retaining the title but that doesn't mean she's loosing it either.
Up next is Deuce versus Charlie Haas as The Great Charlie. Surprisingly enough Ranjin Singh actually came to ring side with Haas. This whole gimmick is great and it's actually getting Haas over. I did feel bad for Deuce though as he was called back to work job duty. He should be placed in the faction that Priceless is forming as he is a second generation superstar.
The match was really quick and the end sees Haas get the win with a flying clothesline from the top rope. This was a really weak ending. They could have done anything else and it would have been better.
Than The Great Khali comes out and lays out Charlie. I really don't understand what the point of that was. Charlie shouldn't be buried during this gimmick as it really is getting the fans attention.
Up next is Chris Jericho and Lance Cade versus Shawn Michaels and a mystery partner. But first, Jericho cuts a promo about how he's going to destroy Michaels at No Mercy as Cade demonstrated by throwing a ladder around. This promo was a little strange, creative but strange.
This segment also proved my point about this feud. There was a boring chant as soon as Jericho began to talk. This as never happened to this feud and it seems that the fans are getting tired of it also. Jericho did say in a radio interview that this match on Sunday will end the feud. Hopefully he wasn't lying.
Shawn comes out and quickly runs to the back. Suddenly, D-Generation X's music hits. Triple H seems to be his mystery partner. The reunion of DX really showed that the WWE is getting worried about the ratings slip since Monday Night Football started. They're trying to create a buzz around the show.
The match worked typical DX style. DX dominates the first half, Shawn gets in danger, Triple H comes in to clean house. Only this time the match ends in a DQ as Jericho and Cade brutally attacked Shawn. Triple H gets the sledge hammer and hits Cade with it. Jericho leaves as Cade is hit with Sweet Chin Music and the Pedigree before he gets splashed from the top of the ladder by Shawn.
Now, Cade was suppose to be behind a massive push and all of a sudden he gets destroyed by DX. Really bad idea. The other thing that bothered me was how fast Cade got up after getting hit with Sweet Chin Music. He popped right up and walked into the Pedigree. Triple H should have picked up his lifeless body afterwards to hit his finish. Now Sweet Chin Music looks kind of weak compared to the Pedigree.
Overall, an entertaining show. I'll admit, as bad as they are for the younger talent, it's always fun to see DX. All the stories seem to be doing well and it was a good way to end the show with Jericho running away from Shawn. My rating: B+
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