A programming note follows next, as WWE promotes next week's Raw as a King Of The Ring three hour "special", because there was once a time when 60 more minutes on a Monday Night was actually quite the treat. Forced to make something of the extra time, the shows normally had a bit of added spice to them, as was the case here. It also ensured this Raw would feature Sheamus not looking like a complete tw*t in that cape and crown, just in case you were panicking about the time frame.
'The Celtic Warrior' defeated R-Truth to qualify for the tournament in the very next match, but there were two actually superb bits of news coming out of this. Truth had binned off the criminally cringe new entrance theme "Get Crunk" to go back to the fan-friendly "What's Up", while the entire match sounded better than it had any right to be thanks to CM Punk's unveiling as the new member of the Raw broadcast team. A "Shut Up Cole!" sign behind the lead announcer's head as he unveiled the 'Straight Edge Superstar' couldn't have made this feel more like actual fan service.
Punk was a total riot from the off. Unconscionable blandness was the biggest enemy of WWE around this time, but the future 'Voice Of The Voiceless' spent this entire period lending his tones to the opinions of the bored masses. The company flatly refused to take the p*ss out of itself most of the time, but at least they'd put one of their independent contractors out front to do it instead. That this change to the presentation actually served storyline purpose in the end was admirable too. More on that later as well.
Two teases already of things to be paid off later. What's going on here? Never mind "Perfect" - held up against 2020 continuity, this was starting to feel like the sort of miracle the former Straight Edge Society leader had promised back when he was a quasi-religious zealot.