It's the RAW after No Mercy, which should provide an outlook of where the WWE is heading throughout the rest of the year. Let's see what worked and what didn't.
We open up with talking. Again with the talking. This time it's Chris Jericho talking about how he beat Shawn Michaels and he's acting GM. Batista comes out and wants the title match. Jericho says Batista has to fight JBL again tonight for the No. 1 contender spot he won last night. Batista hits him with the Spinebuster to end the segment.
These segments are getting way too predictable. Once Jericho was out, you knew Batista was going to lay him out by the end. It bothers me that they have to take 15 minutes to get to something that everyone already knows is coming.
Our first match of the night is Jamie Noble and Mickie James versus Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix. William Regal and Layla are at ring side to watch. The match was much quicker than it should have been. It's sad to see someone as talented as Jamie Noble not get any time to showcase himself on TV.
Mickie and Beth did a good job for the limited amount of time they had in the ring. Jamie Noble's arm bar still has some legitimacy behind as Beth broke it up before it was applied. So far, no one has been in that move for more than five seconds, which is how it should be.
Santino gets the quick roll up after Regal distracts Noble. Noble goes after Santino which causes Regal to attack. The brawl that they had started well but quickly turned. The intensity was great but it was separated way too quickly. It doesn't seem like creative is behind this story 100 percent.
Noble really should have won this match. Santino isn't going to lose anything by jobbing, but Noble still needs to build his wins so the fans can get behind him.
We get a quick backstage promo with Shawn Michaels calling Jericho a coward for putting him in a match tonight. It looks like they're going through with the Shawn/Lance Cade feud.
Kofi Kingston versus Ted DiBiase is next. The commentators made reference to Cody Rhodes and Manu, stating that collectively they were known as Priceless. It's about time they made an acknowledgement that this faction is forming by officially keeping the name. It is interesting that the name is still about Ted DiBiase.
C.M. Punk comes down to be in the corner of Kofi. This match was decent for the amount of time it was given. Both men looked really good and worked well together. The end sees Kofi being distracted and DiBiase hitting the Million Dollar Leg Sweep.
Jericho is backstage talking to Orton, trying to convince him about a plan to stop Batista later.
They run a John Cena recovery promo. Now this is how an injured superstar should be showing up on TV—in a vignette. Cena wasn't on TV taking away time from other wrestlers like Randy Orton.
We get a quick comedy spot with Kane and Mark Henry walking backstage and then Dolph Ziggler tries to introduce himself. As funny as this is, he needs to have a match really soon. Otherwise, his notoriety is going to wear off.
Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy versus Mark Henry and Kane is up next. It seems that the Hardy/Henry feud is still going. No Mercy was the natural end of the story, and now it seems that they are going to beat a dead horse.
Hardy and Mysterio worked well together and had some nice tandem moves. It was good to see both Hardy and Mysterio taking turns being the face in peril and getting the hot tag.
The fans were really behind the match and it was really good. The end was different and exciting. While Matt goes to the top rope, Henry tosses Mysterio at the rope to knock Hardy off balance. This gives Kane the opportunity to Choke Slam him for the win.
I don't think this match should have ended in a pinfall. It should have gone to a no contest with all four men beating the hell out of each other. No one in this match could afford to lose their momentum.
Next we have Shawn Michaels versus Lance Cade in a no disqualification match. It's good to see that creative is finally trying to do something with Cade.
It was surprising to see them go for the table spot so early in the match, but the match itself was rather short. This makes sense because Michaels can't be doing two hardcore matches back to back.
The end sees Michaels going ballistic with a chair and pinning Cade. After the match, Michaels continues to hit him with the chair for a total of 19 shots.
This actually didn't damage Cade's credibility at all. No one is expected to kick out of that many consecutive chair shots and Cade did put Michaels through a table earlier. Hopefully, Cade can get a win next week. Otherwise, he will lose his momentum.
Jerry Lawler is in the ring and announces the first match for Cyber Sunday. The match is Santino Marella versus either Roddy Piper, Goldust, or The Honky Tonk Man. It's good to see the WWE and The Honky Tonk Man are back on speaking terms.
But just like every year, the WWE is pushing votes in one direction. They clearly want Santino to fight Honky Tonk Man. Otherwise, they never would be pushing the Honk-A-Meter.
We then get The Great Khali in ring to do a cross promotion with Johnny Knoxville and his new online show. Khali challenges him to a match next week.
Jillian Hall versus Kelly Kelly is next. Out for commentary is The Miz, John Morrison, and Cryme Tyme. This was a huge mistake. As funny as it was to hear these two argue with each other, they were talking so much that the match was never called. This is very disrespectful to the two women in the ring.
The match was actually well done, with Kelly Kelly only blowing one spot with the back body drop. This is much less than Candice Michelle in any given match. Kelly wins with a roll up counter.
The main event sees Batista versus JBL for the No. 1 contendership. Jericho makes himself the special guest referee, William Regal the special guest time keeper, and Randy Orton the special guest commentator.
Aside from Batista working the leg (which is out of character for him), the match worked just like any match with a heel referee. Jericho was slow on the count when Batista was going for a pin and fast when JBL went for one.
Regal attacked randomly whenever he could, and Orton just seemed to be taking up space. He barely said anything on commentary and didn't get involved in the match.
Eventually, Batista spears Jericho and Adamle sends down another referee. Batista wins with a Batista Bomb. Adamle then announces Jericho versus Batista for Cyber Sunday with a special guest referee being either Orton, Shawn Michaels, or Stone Cold Steve Austin.
RAW was okay. It could have been better and I found myself bored most of the time. All the stories seem to be moving forward and only one actually started tonight. They need to hurry up and finish some of the feuds before they begin to get stale. My rating: C+