The focus of Raw tonight was around the Championship and who would get their hands on the coveted prize. Right from the start we had our main event between Jericho and CM Punk in a steel cage. For a cage match not on a pay per view it was pretty good. Granted there was not the blood shed normally reserved for the big events but both men did their best to keep the action intense.Some may argue the ending was cheap with Jericho falling out of the cage door after brawling with Punk, but I really though it was great and refreshing. Instead of the usual lets climb out of the cage and wait till the other guy runs up and pulls us down routine, we saw some nice attempts to leave via the door. Punk tried to climb out while in the Walls of Jericho, both men scrambled at the doorway pulling each other back and then Jericho falling out after exchanging blows with Punk.
This would not be the only time there would be a claim to the title. JBL for the second week in row faced one of the lower members of the roster in Tommy Dreamer and as we all know from Dreamers list of matches he would lose. JBL would call out GM Mike Adamle and lay claim to why he should be the number one contender. This would lead a big conglomerate of WWE stars who would come to the ring to share their view points. First it was Randy Orton who again reminded us this current era is well below the level of the Age of Orton. Them Glamarella provided some comic relief as the power couple had to remind everyone on how they are great champions. Then just to make sure no one was left out Batista would come to the ring and remind us why he should be the top dog. Adamle tried to diffuse the situation and let everyone know by the end of the night who would get the next shot at the title. Now since we has a large gathering of wrestlers in the ring you know somebody has to get taken out. Cue Glamorella as Batista first took down Santino them slammed the Glamazon on top of him.
With all of this excitement you would figure this would be all of the Championship excitement. Well not tonight as Adamle would announce the plans for the belt for No Mercy. Despite flubbing his lines, the GM was able to keep his streak of intriguing matches alive. First, despite Chris Jericho’s plans to face the number one contender winner at No Mercy, the number one contender would wait to get his chance. JBL will face Batista to determine the number one contender to face the champ. But that champ may not be Jericho as the surprise of the night was a title match for No Mercy will be HBK in a ladder match. With the injury to Michael’s this was a shocker, but there is no doubt it will deliver.
All of this excitement surrounding the belt is possible due to Jericho being champ. His heel persona enables him to work with variety of contenders as Jericho is only in this for himself. He pulls of this clean cut, suit wearing, serious individual attitude who has udder disdain for the fans perfectly. This of course brings the jeers from the paying public and makes him the most hated person on the show. Due to this you can seamlessly move contender after contender around him and still have good heat for the program. Also at a time when Raw is lacking a big superstar, due to Cena being out, it allows the possibility for those at the top of the roster to either get a shot at the belt or hold it for some time. And despite who has the belt you can use Jericho as the linchpin to always have a heel for the fans to hate. We all know he is great in the ring and his mic skills are the best on the roster. He has the ability to hype up any program assigned to him and should be able to keep things interesting till Cena returns.
The other big happening on the show was the confrontation of Kane and Mysterio. Kane has taken a disliking to Mysterio due to his popularity while wearing a mask. Kane is upset due the the fact the fans never liked him with the mask and now still feel he is a freak. Kane has vowed to unmask Mysterio and expose him to the world. It almost worked tonight, but Evan Bourne would come to the rescue of his idol, Mysterio. The reasoning behind program still makes no sense to me as they have barely developed the story line, but I do like the match up. This is one of the few times the David and Goliath setup works and it gives these guys a nice chance to get decent air time.
The rest of the night saw Candice Michell defeat Jillian then drop kick Beth Phoenix at ringside. This would build the heat for their upcoming match at No Mercy. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase teamed up with Manu against Kofi Kingston, Jerry Lawler and good ol‘ J.H., or as we know him Charlie Haas. The sons of the legend would win to further establish their stable and Charlie Haas still needs a gimmick to get air time. And before we go let’s all shed a tear for poor Jamie Noble. Despite his win over Paul Burchill, by the way looking a little gruff, he still lost his girl in Layla. Now this time it’s William Regal who denied Jamie his true happiness.