JBL and Chris Jericho Confronted Raw General Manager Mike Adamle
Adamle was named the new general manager of Raw one week earlier and fans were not happy. Not only did the development not make any sense, Adamle was terrible! I mean, my god, the guy brought out a script with him on stage so he could remember all of his lines for this segment. It came out years later that he was dealing with medical issues at the time (and to this day) that prevented him from remembering things correctly, but they should have never put him in that role to begin with. Nevertheless, this was a solid segment that set up JBL and Jericho vs. CM Punk in a 2-on-1 Handicap match for later on in the night.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Paul Burchill
I can't imagine many people truly saw Burchill as a threat to the title here, but I always thought he should have gotten a run with a midcard championship at some point during his career. This was the closest he came to winning one. He and Kingston had a nice little match, though the finish felt a bit abrupt with Kingston hitting the Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere.
Women's Champion Mickie James def. Katie Lea Burchill
If you didn't view Paul as a threat to the Intercontinental Championship, you probably didn't think Katie Lea had a chance in hell of becoming Women's Champion here. Unlike her "brother," I've honestly never found her to be that good. James carried her to a competent contest, but this was hardly anything special. She was attacked by Beth Phoenix afterward, which was followed by the announcement from Adamle that it would be James and Kingston vs. Phoenix and Santino Marella in a Winners Take All match for both belts at SummerSlam.
William Regal Interrupted Layla Before Brawling with Jamie Noble
Regal was fresh off his return to Raw the week prior. It's a major shame he had to go and get himself suspended, because before his hiatus, he was the hottest heel in the entire company. He received decent heat here but not nearly as much as he did earlier in the year when he was the general manager of Raw. Noble picking a fight with Regal here sparked a feud between them where Noble was looking to win over Layla.
JBL and Chris Jericho def. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Whoever pinned Punk would earn themselves a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. If Punk won, he wouldn't have to face either of them. If the 10 minute time limit ran out, it would have been a Triple Threat at SummerSlam. Got to love those Adamle Originals! I'm not normally a fan of Handicap matches, but this ended up being pretty good. There were plenty of suspenseful moments and Punk thrived as the underdog. My only nitpick is that the finish looked terrible with JBL simply falling on top of Punk for the win.
Shawn Michaels Provided an Update on His Condition
Jericho beat Michaels to a bloody pulp at The Great American Bash and it was unknown what the future held for him in the ring. Most people figured their feud would continue, but there were also rumors swirling at the time that Michaels was legitimately considering retirement. He played that up here and hinted at heeding the doctors' advice and hanging up his boots for good. This was an excellent performance from The Heartbreak Kid that made you look forward to what was next for him.
Kane def. Matt Striker
Striker was brought over to Raw in WWE's supplemental draft two months earlier and this marked his first and only match as a member of the Raw roster before he transitioned into a spot on ECW commentary not long after. As you would probably expect, this was your standard squash match that saw Kane make short work of Striker. Post-match, he cut a cryptic promo (with his mysterious burlap sack in hand) saying that the person he had been ranting about for weeks was indeed "dead." Who was he talking about, you ask? It'd be revealed soon enough...
Batista and John Cena def. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to Win the World Tag Team Championship
Ahead of their first-ever one-on-one outing at SummerSlam, Cena and Batista challenged for the World Tag Team Championship for some random reason. Okay, so I understand this was done to create more tension between the two, but it didn't do Rhodes and DiBiase any favors to be dropping the belts shortly after winning them. This also felt like the lazy route to take since Cena had already done something similar with Michaels before their match at WrestleMania 23 the year before. To their credit, this was an entertaining main event, but there were better ways to build toward Cena vs. Batista at SummerSlam than this.
All the all, the first night of the short-lived Mike Adamle Era of Raw was an enjoyable one. I didn't necessarily agree with the World Tag Team Championship changing hands, but it was a memorable moment, if nothing else. The rest of the show featured a ton of build of SummerSlam, more matches being added to the card, some well-wrestled matches, and two other championships being successfully defended.
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