Well, the end of the World Heavyweight Championship match at the Great American Bash left things a bit undecided between the World Champion CM Punk and his challenger, Batista. So they had a rematch last night on RAW, with Punk saying “we’re going to keep doing it until we get it right,” or something along those lines. Well, they still didn’t get it right, but I suppose I shouldn’t give away what happened just quite yet – after all, there was a whole show before that happened that I need to tell you about!
RAW results and my thoughts, after the jump!
We kick things off with a recap of the events of the Great American Bash. Kane interrupted the World Heavyweight Title match, causing a double DQ. Batista is in the production truck watching it with the crew. He leaves without saying goodbye, causing the staff to look at him funny. After the RAW theme plays, Big Dave heads to the ring. He’s going to beat up Kane tonight. Not only that, he’s putting himself in charge of the show because Shane and Stephanie aren’t here. That said, he’s putting himself in a World Heavyweight Championship match against CM Punk. JBL appears on the TitanTron. He says that he’s the one in charge, and that since Batista failed to win the title last night, and he beat John Cena, he’s now the one getting the title match. Not tonight though, he’s not in any condition to do so. That and he’s already booked for a match a little later on tonight, but that’s a different story. CM Punk comes out, and he tells us that he’s the Champion, so that makes him king of the jungle. He tells JBL to shut up, and he says that he wants to prove to everybody that he can beat Batista, so we’re gonna keep trying Batista vs. Punk until we get it right. JBL is angry. Batista is pleased. All of us? Well, we’re forced to sit through a commercial.
After that commercial, we’re forced to listen to Jenny McCarthy. Though it’s for a good cause. She’s going to be on Saturday Night’s Main Event on August 2nd, and teaming up with the WWE to fight autism.
Shawn Michaels music hits. Then it mysteriously turns into Lance Cade’s music, and HBK’s former protoge makes his way to the ring. He dares Shawn Michaels to come out here and confront him. Instead he’s graced by the presense of Paul London. Not that it did much good, Paul was beaten pretty quickly in this one. Cade still wants HBK to come down. Since he won’t, Lance has something that might convince him to. The arrival of Chris Jericho. Jericho says that his hands are clean. He’s not to blame for Shawn Michaels having to retire. No, it’s all the fans, the fans that wanted Shawn to come back from his eye injury so soon. They’re to blame – HBK wanted to please them, so he fought when he should have been healing. Jericho learned his lesson. He’s never going to listen to the fans again. He’s officially considering himself saved.
Kelly Kelly, whose name reminds me of Rad Radford, to whom Shawn Michaels once quipped “I’d be angry too if my parents would have named me Mike Michaels.” She’s got herself a match , and this week she isn’t interrupted by the World Tag Team Champions. Instead, she gets to wrestle the former WWE Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix. Kelly has shown that she’s improved in the ring since her early days in ECW, managing to hold her own against the Glamazon. It’s all for naught though, as Phoenix managed to catch her, planting her with… well, Awesome Kong calls it the Implant Buster, but I’m not sure what The Glamazon calls it. Anyways, a finisher by any other name will still get the pin, and it did for Beth here tonight.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan once again reminds us that he has a job. This week though, he’s out here to tell us that he’s considering retiring after what Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase said to him. Jerry Lawler will have none of that though. Hacksaw is a legend! Nobody else can come out and whip a crowd into a USA chant better than he can! Hacksaw thinks that maybe the King is right. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, they don’t. They come to the ring and confront the WWE legends in the ring. Cody reminds Hacksaw that when he won the Royal Rumble, Cody was only two years old. And when Jerry Lawler slapped Andy Kauffman in the face on Letterman, the tag champs weren’t even born yet. Lawler is sorry that Cody missed that. So he slaps Cody in the face. The champs back out of the ring and tell the old-timers that they’ve got no time for them. The champs are in a match, and that match is next!
Back from break, and we’ve got ourselves a little rematch. Yes folks, the same match that ended the show last week is in the middle of the show this week. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase teamed with JBL to take on a beaten and battered John Cena, along with his homeboys, Cryme Tyme. John Cena filled the void left by Triple H in this one – he beat the tag team champions single handedly, lifting them both up in the FU position at the same time and managing to deliver two seperate FUs, scoring the pin on Cody.
Chris Jericho and Lance Cade are getting ready to leave, but when they open the door, they look like they’ve seen a ghost. Contrary to what you would expect, however, the “ghost” in this case was the Big Red Machine Kane. I’d probably be terrified if I opened a door and saw an angry monster standing there too. Lucky for Y2J and Lance Cade, Kane wasn’t in an attacking mood at the moment.
The WWE Women’s Champion is up next, in intergender tag team action. Her partner is the WWE Intercontinental Champion, Mr. Thunder Clap himself, Kofi Kingston. Their opponents, in case you couldn’t guess, are the brother/sister combo of Paul and Katie Lea Burchill. The women didn’t get a whole lot of face time in this match, save for a distraction of Kofi by Katie Lea that cost him a shot at winning the match. The big story of the match was that Kofi supposedly hurt his ankle. In any event, it was Paul taking Kofi down with a neckbreaker for the win.
Jamie Noble is still trying to pick up Layla. He tells her that she’d be his good luck charm upstairs in the casino when playing with dreamjackpot.com games. Apparently Noble’s idea of good luck is getting beat up by all the biggest guys on the roster. This week, Batista finds Noble. He’s not looking to fight Noble though, he’s looking for Kane. Noble tells him to chill out, and that if he sees Kane, he’ll let him know that Batista’s looking for him. Batista roughs Noble up a bit, making sure that Noble knows to let Kane know that Batista’s looking for him, if he happens to see him.
Todd Grisham wants to know why CM Punk accepted a title match against Batista tonight, instead of just being satisfied with leaving the Bash with the belt. Punk tells Grisham that he’s going to prove that he’s no fluke champion – and he’s interrupted once again by JBL, who says at SummerSlam, whoever the World Champion is will be facing him.
Santino Marella makes his way to the ring. He tells us that last week, he wasn’t expecting Beth Phoenix. He only fights people who do not have fallopian tubes. So this week, he wants any man in the locker room to come out and accept his challenge.
YOU’RE LOOKIN’ AT THE REAL DEAL NOW!
D’Lo Brown makes his return to the WWE, and hits all of his usual spots, picking up a victory over the Luigi-fearing Santino Marella. The Glamazon watched on from ringside, and afterwards, she and Santino traded waistlocks, before trading a liplock, much to the surprise of everybody including the two kissees.
Batista makes his way to the ring for our main event. He’s not followed out by his opponent though. If Batista was looking for Kane, he found him – but it seems like the Big Red Machine was searching for Batista as well. Kane beat down Batista before CM Punk made the save, then Kane directed his attention at another cameraman, chasing him back up the aisle. The referee wants to know if Batista can compete or not. Punk gets in the mix, cockily asking “do you want this match or what, Dave?” Batista shoves Punk, and the match is apparently on – after the commercial break.
When we do come back from break, Michael Cole explains that the referee waited to start the match, opting to give Big Dave a moment to recover from the assault by Kane. The match itself was pretty good, solid back and forth action much like at the Bash the night before. Batista managed to get the tide in his favor, ultimately nailing a spear on the Champion. He goes and shakes the ropes, Warrior style, but is distracted by JBL rushing to the ring. The ref calls for the bell, and JBL hits the clothesline from hell. Cena comes out to attack JBL, but Bradshaw ducked, and Cena inadvertantly nailed Batista, who went for a Batista Bomb, which was countered into an FU attempt – which was countered, and RAW went off the air with Batista and John Cena being held apart by security.
My thoughts: I think RAW actually kind of dragged a little this week. Not saying that it’s as bad as the shows had been before the draft, just wasn’t as good as the post-draft shows. It was still pretty chaotic, and the matches and backstage segments were all good, there was just something lacking, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s just me, who knows. Anyways, it was great to see D’Lo back on RAW. I know he’s been plying his trade over in Japan, and on his return to the WWE he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. I’m interested to see where this Santino/Beth storyline goes. The thing right now is, WWE has been getting pretty good at writing long term storylines. We were so used to the “crash TV” style, that even the three weeks since Kane attacked Michael Cole seems like an eternity ago. I think it’s a good thing to see long term storylines making a comeback. I don’t think we’ll be seeing year long storylines like we did with Sting and Hogan in WCW, but it’s nice to be able to watch a show and want to tune in next week to see what happens, and not have everything hotshotted right down our throats. The same thing goes for SmackDown as well. The Edge and Vickie storyline has been going on for months, and it feels like it’s just getting started, which is a good thing. After investing that much time and emotion into following a storyline, it’s always a good thing that 8 months later it still feels fresh. So to the WWE writers, congratulations guys, you’ve found a way to start giving us compelling television on Mondays and Fridays.
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