JBL, John cEna, Batista and Kane Staked Their Claim at the World Heavyweight Championship
When I praised the opening of Raw from the week for being as lengthy as it was, that was due to the segment being so exciting and compelling. This, unfortunately, was the exact opposite. Nothing ever came of Vickie Guerrero's brief appearance, so it would have been best to not muddy the Brand Split rules further and just keep her on SmackDown. Everyone coming out and declaring a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship was fine, but it made for a predictable segment that dragged beyond belief.
Rey Mysterio def. Santino Marella
For a guy who had been out on the shelf for several months, Mysterio looked great in his first bout back here. Marella deserves credit for selling well for his offense, too. I'm glad this didn't turn into a full-fledged feud between the two, but at the same time, Mysterio was gone from television for another two months after this, oddly enough. Apparently, he was stuck in contract negotiations for a while, so there wasn't much of a point in him returning to Raw at this time.
Women's Champion Mickie James and Kelly Kelly def. Jillian Hall and Layla
There was a pre-match segment where James asked Kelly how she ended up on Raw (she wasn't drafted) and Kelly asked, "We have contracts?" Essentially, it made a mockery of the rules of the Brand Split and it was already starting to lose meaning. The match itself was fine, but I laughed when the commentators constantly brought up how much Kelly Kelly had "improved," which was far from the truth, obviously.
John Cena and Cryme Tyme Destroyed JBL's Limo
"Comedic" John Cena is the worst John Cena. Only in recent years has he started to finally move away from the awful jokes, but he was in full-on kiddie mode in this segment. Cena and Cryme Tyme came across as total bullies in destroying JBL's limo, and Cena spray-painting "JBL is poopy" on the side of it was tremendously terrible, but on the bright side, it was cool to see Cryme Tyme get a rub from their alliance with Cena.
World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk def. Snitsky (Non-title)
Where the hell had Snitsky been all this time? He hadn't appeared on Raw in at least over a month by this point, so how anyone would have viewed him as a threat to Punk despite the size difference is beyond me. I'm assuming the purpose of the match was supposed to be Punk proving himself as a fighting champion, but I'm not sure it was even successful in that respect because the bout wasn't that good and Snitsky was a glorified jobber.
Chris Jericho Confronted Shawn Michales
This was the segment this show desperately needed, and once again, Jericho and Michaels hit it out of the park with their promos. Michaels made an excellent point about how no matter what he did, the fans would always cheer him, and he was right. And that ate Jericho up inside. The best part about this segment was how they sold fans on their Great American Bash match without even getting physical. That takes true talent.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Charlie Haas (Non-title)
Similar to Snitsky, Haas hadn't wrestled on Raw in seemingly forever, so he didn't have the slightest chance of beating Kingston here. Raw viewers had a poor introduction to Kingston the week before when he was beaten down by Jericho, and although this was a decent showing from him, the fans didn't exactly take to him just yet. Thankfully, his newest challenger immediately became apparent when Paul Burchill resurfaced and attacked him afterward.
Batista def. KAne, JBL and John Cena in a World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Match
A majority of this matchup was consumed by commercials, but from what did make television, this was a fun Fatal 4-Way. All four Superstars put forth a solid effort and Batista was a logical winner considering he technically helped Punk win the World Heavyweight Championship in the first place. That would have been a standard way to close out the evening, but Kane going berserk at ringside and attacking Jerry Lawler in the ring piqued my interest. This was where he started screaming, "Is he dead or alive?", another angle that went nowhere.
Coming off that hot post-Night of Champions edition of Raw, this show didn't stand a chance of being nearly as good. While it wasn't awful, it didn't feature nearly as many memorable moments or matches. The end was intriguing, the main event was enjoyable and the heated Michaels and Jericho confrontation was strong, but mostly everything else wasn't worth watching in my opinion.
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