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Chris Jericho morphs into Mr. McMahon

As an admitted longtime Jerichoholic, I am entertained by just about anything that involves Chris Jericho. As far as last night's Raw, however, while there was nothing wrong with Jericho's performance, his character's story line certainly won't get any points for originality.

With Raw general manager Mike Adamle absent from the show because he supposedly was in meetings with Shane and Stephanie McMahon, Jericho was left in charge for the night. Predictably, Jericho abused his power by trying to screw over his chief rivals, Batista and Shawn Michaels. It's an angle we've seen hundreds of times.

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Watching the show, I felt like I had been transported back to 1998. Just as Mr. McMahon tried to stack the deck against Steve Austin by naming himself as the special referee and his Stooges (Pat Patterson, Jerry Brisco) as ring announcer and timekeeper a decade ago, Jericho forced Batista to put his No. 1 contender status on the line against JBL in a match in which Jericho appointed himself referee, Randy Orton guest commentator and William Regal timekeeper. And just as Austin did, Batista overcame the odds and foiled the plan.

While the main angle undeniably had a "been there, done that" feel to it, perhaps I shouldn't be too critical of WWE's creative team. I'm sure it's not easy to come up with five hours of original programming 52 weeks a year – especially with a hands-on, intimidating boss like Vince McMahon constantly hovering over you. And if you do need to rely on an old plot device every now and then, I suppose it's better to go with a proven formula such Austin-McMahon than something from the dying days of WCW.

Other thoughts on last night's show:

It will never top his feud with Michaels, but Jericho's program with Batista should be good. The thing is, I don't think Jericho should lose the title yet, but Batista has to get a world title again at some point. How many more ways can WWE come up with for him to look strong but not get the belt, which has happened on three pay-per-views over the past few months. …

Is there really any doubt that Austin is going to win the voting to determine the special referee for the Jericho-Batista match at the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view on Oct. 26? …

Orton continues to be the most compelling performer on the show. It was interesting how Jericho involved him in his plan to screw over Batista, yet Orton did not get involved and said he didn't care what happened either way. …

Just wondering: Why would Stephanie and Shane call a meeting with Adamle on a Monday night when Raw is going on? Couldn't they have done it in the afternoon or on another day? Also, if Jericho really wanted to cheat Batista, why didn't he just count to three even though Batista got his shoulder up (like Earl Hebner did during the infamous Hulk Hogan/Andre The Giant match in 1988)? …

The "Rough Cuts"-type segments on John Cena and his injury were very well done. They really portrayed Cena in a positive light and played up his toughness and passion for the business. And he still will probably get booed by a large segment of the audience when he comes back. …

I'm not at all excited to see Johnny Knoxville getting involved in an angle, but I am looking forward to seeing The Great Khali in a comedic role. His indestructible giant gimmick has definitely been played out. I'm not sure why Khali keeps appearing on Raw, though. Isn't he a Smackdown guy? I guess Raw and Smackdown must have one of those talent exchange agreements. …

Somebody important must enjoy humiliating Lillian Garcia. First she had to kiss Viscera, and now Khali. She deserves hazardous duty play. At least she hasn't been ordered to strip down to her underwear and bark like a dog – yet. …

Unless fans screw up the voting, it looks like we're getting Santino Marella versus The Honky-Donky Man at Cyber Sunday. I'd love to see Jimmy Hart in Honky's corner screaming "Hit him Honky!" through his megaphone in his high-pitched voice. …

Cryme Tyme and John Morrison and The Miz all talking at the same time during the Kelly Kelly-Jillian match made for horrible television. …

I missed Charlie Haas not being on the show. Regular Ring Posts commenter Mina, who was at the show in Seattle, reported that Haas, as "Rowdy" Charlie Piper, lost to Dolph Ziggler before Raw went on the air.

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