KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After citing the bad first impression he made with the WWE Universe, new General Manager Mike Adamle executed a plan to turn things around on Raw. Eager to impress, the new GM set up a few "Adamle Originals," including a headliner for SummerSlam as well as three title matches for that very night, one of which saw John Cena & Batista become the new World Tag Team Champions.
Though they will face one another for the first time at SummerSlam, John Cena & Batista were forced to compete as a team against World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. In spite of the fierce animosity between the Chain Gang Commander and The Animal, the two men managed to overpower the champions, and ended Raw in a shaky alliance with new championship gold around their waists.
Though John Cena and Batista are no doubt happy about becoming World Tag Team Champions, the title they, like much of the Raw Roster, have their eyes on is CM Punk's World Heavyweight Championship. Adamle was confronted early in the night by JBL and Chris Jericho, who both desired an opportunity to compete for the gold. In order to determine the No. 1 contender, Adamle made a 2-on-1 Handicap Match pitting World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk against JBL & Chris Jericho, with the Superstar making the pin earning a title opportunity. The Straightedge Champion was no match for the combined might of these two veteran competitors and was pinned by JBL, who will now face Punk for Raw's richest prize at SummerSlam.
One of the reasons Y2J claimed to deserve No. 1 contender status was his match against Shawn Michaels at The Great American Bash, in which Y2J severely injured The Showstopper's eye. In an exclusive interview from Michaels' home in San Antonio, an ailing HBK stated that while he has certainly been better, the jury is still out on whether his career is over. Not only is Michaels suffering from a detached retina, but his ribs, broken at WrestleMania 24 and reinjured at The Great American Bash, are also in very bad shape. The iconic Superstar will have one more evaluation from his doctor, and will find out the results the Friday before SummerSlam. Michaels plans to attend the Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer regardless of what the news is, appearing in person to deliver it to the WWE Universe.
Winner takes all
In the first of the night's three title matches, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston defeated Paul Burchill to retain gold. After the match, when Kingston chased Paul away from the ring, the brutal Englishman's sister, Katie Lea, was left in the ring by herself. She was soon joined, however, by WWE Women's Champion Mickie James, beginning the night's second title match. Mickie defeated Katie Lea to retain her championship gold, but before she could leave the arena, the Women's Champion was attacked by Beth Phoenix, accompanied by what appears to be The Glamazon's new beau, Santino Marella.
After the match, both The Glamazon and the Italian Superstar confronted Adamle about their desires for championship matches at SummerSlam. Hoping to satisfy both competitors, Adamle created another match for the Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer: A Winner Takes All Match between Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston & WWE Women's Champion Mickie James and Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix, with both titles going to the winning team.
Let the cat (?) out of the bag
On Monday night, GM Adamle also put Matt Striker in his first match since joining the Raw brand. Unfortunately for Striker, that match was against the maniacal Kane, who ran roughshod over his opponent. Following the match, the Big Red Monster took hold of a microphone and admitted that he has been in a bad place lately, referencing his string of brutal assaults on in-ring competitors and announcers alike. Holding up his mysterious burlap sack, Kane assured the WWE Universe that whoever "he" is, is dead … and not coming back.
While Kane seems more at peace with whatever, or whoever, is in his enigmatic burlap bag, it's still a mystery to the rest of the WWE Universe. Hoping to endear himself to the WWE Universe, GM Adamle announced that next week on Raw, he will solve the mystery of Kane's burlap sack, ordering the Big Red Monster to disclose its contents.
Chivalry's not dead
In another act aimed at pleasing the WWE Universe, GM Adamle had Layla perform one of her special dances in the ring. Before our fans could get their fill of eye-candy, however, William Regal stormed to the ring, interrupting Layla's show and dismissing her as a "tart." Earlier on WWE.com, Layla rebuffed the advances of the tenacious Jamie Noble, explaining that she doesn't associate with losers, but that couldn't keep Noble from rushing to the ring to defend the Diva's honor. The diminutive Superstar assaulted Regal, battering the British brawler until they were separated by referees.