World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk Granted Batista a Title Shot
Batista almost came across as a heel when he put himself in charge of Raw for the night and awarded himself a rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship, even though his logic was sound considering Kane interfered in his Great American Bash bout with Punk. Meanwhile, JBL's heel work was exceptional and Punk actually got lost in the shuffle as a result, which was a common theme throughout his reign as world champion. There was a bit too much talking here for my liking, but at least the main event was set up in effective fashion.
Lance Cade def. Paul London
Cade benefited from solely associating himself with Chris Jericho at the height of his heel run, but he didn't do much to stand out on his own until now when he went one-on-one with London. The match was fairly forgettable, but Cade had a solid showing and scored the win as he should have. Moreover, Jericho's post-match promo was phenomenal, and the greatest part about Jericho's heel mic work was that he didn't have to raise his voice in order to convey feelings of hatred toward the fans and Shawn Michaels. Sensational stuff.
Beth Phoenix def. Kelly Kelly
Needless to say, Kelly was not a natural wrestler by any means, so Phoenix did a decent job of carrying her a competent match here. Thankfully, the match was kept short and sweet with Phoenix going over in dominant fashion. The finish was well done with Phoenix going for the Glam Slam, Kelly reversing it, and Phoenix rolling through with the second half of her finisher. It was weird they didn't immediately follow up on Phoenix beating Santino Marella, though Phoenix did watch his match from ringside later in the night.
World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Confronted "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Jerry Lawler
This was an excellent follow-up to the segment from the week prior with DiBiase and Rhodes dressing down Duggun in the middle of the ring. Lawler coming to Duggan's aid made sense and the mic work from all four men was very good. It was a simple enough storyline with the young studs attempting to solidify their superiority over the old school wrestlers and thus it was a solid start to their tag title reign.
John Cena and Cryme Tyme def. JBL and World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase
As if we hadn't seen enough of the Cena vs. JBL rivalry by this point, despite their apparent "blow-off" at The Great American Bash, WWE couldn't help themselves from holding this rematch from last week's show. All six Superstars played their roles well and the match was well-wrestled, but it came across as filler since the SummerSlam build didn't go into full effect until the next week. What bothered me was Cena essentially winning all on his own. He went through hell in the Parking Lot Brawl, yet was able to somehow deliver a double FU to Rhodes and DiBiase? Come on.
Paul Burchill and Katie Lea def. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and Women's Champion Mickie James
Burchill and Katie Lea were coming off back-to-back losses to Kingston and James from the week prior, so it was imperative that they emerged victorious here to remain in chase mode for the championships. They produced a pretty nice matchup and the heel duo wisely went over. Watching back matches like this reminds me what could have been had WWE not dropped the ball with them once these feuds were over.
D'Lo Brown def. Santino Marella
I believe it had been officially announced on WWE.com that May that Brown had re-signed with the company, it just took a little longer than expected for him to be reintroduced on Raw. He was still in fantastic shape and could go in the ring, as seen in his brief bout with Marella where he mostly hit his signature spots. The crowd was happy to see him, too. Afterward, Phoenix and Marella locked lips, which was the beginning of what would become "Glamerella".
World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs. Batista Ended in a No Contest
Following the lousy conclusion to their championship clash from The Great American Bash, this was WWE's chance to give fans the match they were cheated out of seeing, but that unfortunately wasn't the case. It lacked that big fight feel because the bout lasted a measly nine minutes, and they never reached that next gear because of the interference from JBL. That was also cheap because it was the same exact finish from the pay-per-view, except with someone else! If nothing else, Cena and Batista accidentally coming to blows would set the stage for their SummerSlam encounter.
I liked that there was some fallout from The Great American Bash from Sunday night, but there wasn't nearly enough hype for SummerSlam. Granted, it was still over a month away, but as one of their biggest shows of the year, they really should have started to plant the seeds for the event's marquee matches earlier than they did. Brown returning to Raw and Jericho's promo were cool, but it's hard to praise a show with a disappointing main event and more of the same from Cena and JBL.
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