Without the chairman Vince McMahon around to guide the ship Raw has slipped into a mob rule state of affairs. From CM Punk using his Money in the Bank to claim the World Heavy Weight Championship from a beaten down Edge, to a constant quest by some of Raw’s best each week to claim the title from Punk. That story line continued tonight as Batista made claim to getting another shot at the belt due to Kane’s interference at the Great American Bash. JBL would have none of it as he feels he is the one in charge during this time of uncertain rule and claims to be the legitimate number one contender. Well since he has the belt, Punk made up the decision of who would face him for the title and chose Batista.
Since things do not go smoothly on Raw nowadays we saw a decent match between Punk and Batista interrupted by JBL and Cena. First the match between these two was good. I really want to see what both Punk and Batista have going for them with their matches as these two can be future stars in the WWE. It can be said neither man has really carried himself as Batista’s best matches of late always featured the Undertaker, and Punk really has only been on ECW with a cast of inferior wrestlers. By working in program together they can show what they really are made off by not having an established star carry their performances. So far they have been doing a decent job as the matches haven’t been to bad.
It looks like we may not get to see these two by themselves for much longer as a fatal four way may be in the cards for Summer Slam with JBL and Cena joining the crowd. This angle seems to be playing to the Batista going heel as he and Cena went at it in the dying moments of the show. You have to figure with now two title chances getting messed up for Batista he will want some sort of revenge and this will drive him over the top. JBL may be a good jerk, but Batista will serve as a much better heel as he clearly is the better wrestler at this point in their careers.
As for the rest of the show we are starting to see some plots developing for the rest of the roster as we are still transitioning out of the draft. For the World Tag Team champs of Rhodes and DiBiase we may be seeinng their future linked with Cryme Tyme. They faced each other tonight in a six man event with the champs in JBL’s corner and Cena with Cryme Tyme. It would be Cena getting the pin with a impressive double FU on both Rhodes and DiBiase. We may even see some legend take on the champs as Duggan and Lawler were rudely interrupted by the youngsters. The King convinced Hacksaw to not believe he was washed up, but the cocky young upstarts came out again and told the old-men their time has passed. But it was Lawler who got the last word, courtesy of a slap to the face of Rhodes.
The HBK story line may be taking a bit of a turn. With Jericho bloodying him at the Bash they may have finally ended this program. But it may be Jericho’s protege, Lance Cade, who will now go after Michaels. After beating up Paul London both Jericho and Cade made comments about HBK. It seems now Cade has a bone to pick with him since he was trained by HBK, but now has fallen under Jericho’s guidance and finds Michaels to be a fake. This would be a big boost for Cade as he can see if he can run with the big dogs. I have liked what he has shown in the past and feel he will be able to make the most of of this opportunity if it happens.
The Burchill’s kept their rivalries alive tonight with a win in a mixed tag event over Kofi Kingston and Mickie James. In a destination we have seen many times before look for Katie Lea to be the one who makes the name for herself while Paul falls off the face of the earth. Katie has shown she can hold her own against a superior talent like James and should be a major fixture in the women’s division for years to come. Paul on the other hand still can’t make us forget he was once a pirate for his ring persona. It’s a shame the Intercontinental belt has to be defended against a stiff like him. There has to be someone better on the Raw roster who Kingston can face. I felt they should have let the HBK and Y2J plot die and have Kingston and Jericho. The youngster could have learned allot from a veteran like Chris, especially since their styles are similar with the very athletic moves and flips.
Beth Phoenix returned to the role as heel tonight beating Kelly Kelly. Again we saw a fairly rough performance out of Kelly Kelly. I really do give her credit for raising her game, but she still is not ring ready, at least not on TV as most of her moves look bad. She can’t sell any of her forearm shots and her moves still looked very labored. Give Phoenix credit for making the match look as good as possible. Despite this return to being a heel the Glamazon may have found a love interest. Santino and her shared a moment after his lose to D-Lo Brown. That’s right I said D-Lo Brown! Alright I know you really don’t care about his return much like the majority of the crown tonight. Not sure why the WWE would bring him back after 5 years of being away. He was a mid carder in his prime and is know more for paralyzing Droz than anything else, and that’s even if people remember who he is.