Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga Ended in a Double Count-Out
This was a vast improvement over their minute-long match from the week prior, showing why they worked so well together during their original series of matches from 2007. The matchup wasn't given a ton of time, but it was a ton of fun while it lasted. Moreover, both men were protected with the non-finish, setting the stage for their Falls Count Anywhere match at One Night Stand.
Mr. McMahon Confronted Raw General Manager William Regal
McMahon quickly turning his back on Regal after endorsing him a few weeks earlier was slightly strange, but I understand they had to rush the angle as a result of Regal getting suspended due to violating the WWE Wellness Policy. With that in mind, they did a great job of building to Regal vs. Mr. Kennedy on this show and making it feel must-see with the Loser Gets Fired stipulation.
Beth Phoenix def. Maria
Following their interaction in the tag team match one week earlier, this was a solid follow-up with Phoenix making short work of Maria. It further established her as a dominant force ahead of her "I Quit" match with Melina. Speaking of whom, she was effective on commentary in discussing her issues with Phoenix before brawling up the ramp, officially turning face in the process.
Batista def. Chris Jericho (Winner Faces Shawn Michaels at One Night Stand)
Although this was a pay-per-view quality match, it made for a terrific television match with the winner going on to settle their score with Michaels at One Night Stand. Batista and Jericho had lost to HBK at Backlash and Judgement Day, respectively, and they didn't necessarily like each other, either. I was glad they were granted the time they deserved and they maximized that opportunity as the crowd was solidly behind both babyfaces.
Santino Marella Mocked Roddy Piper
Marella was hilarious as a heel, so while anyone else would have died a death in this same segment, Marella thrived and his impersonation of Piper was wonderful. The live crowd seemed to get a kick out it, too, so at least they weren't sitting on their hands the entire time. The whole Cousin Sal storyline was harmless and I'm sure it scored the company some mainstream attention with the involvement of Jimmy Kimmel.
Mr. Kennedy def. William Regal (Loser Gets Fired No Disqualification Match)
For a match put together on the fly, I enjoyed this immensely. Granted, it could have been better if it was on pay-per-view and they had more time to work with, but I thought they made the most of what they were allotted here. The last minute addition of the No Disqualification stipulation by Regal (because he was still in power at that point) was brilliant, and Kennedy's win might have been genuinely surprising for those who didn't know the real reason why this happened so prematurely. Regal wouldn't return for another two more months, and I'm still sad his Raw GM run was cut short.
Randy Orton and JBL def. WWE Champion Triple H and John Cena
We had seen so many different variations of this match in the months prior that it needed something special in order for it to stand out, so the guarantee that the winners would choose the One Night Stand stipulations was an effective hook. It was a well-wrestled match and the heels winning helped put extra heat on them. Although Orton vs. HHH had been done to death, it didn't make much sense to move in a new direction with One Night Stand less than two weeks away.
The strong streak of entertaining editions of Raw in the spring of Raw continued with this installment. As noted, WWE had a small window of only two weeks to build to One Night Stand, so it helped that Raw already had a few preexisting feuds they could just carry over into the event. There was plenty of solid wrestling on this night in addition to Regal's newsworthy departure, so it receives a thumbs up from me.
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