December 7, 2009
results thanks to pwtorch.com
After the usual WWE Raw intro, the show opened with a pyro intro inside the AAC as Michael Cole plugged the "revolutionary" TLC PPV coming up on Sunday. No obituary or "In Memory" for Umaga, of note. Cole and Jerry Lawler then plugged U.S. champion The Miz vs. Mark Henry for the U.S. Title tonight. Also, Chris Jericho vs. DX in a handicap match.
In-ring: Justin Roberts welcomed out Raw guest host Mark Cuban after a plug for HDNet. Cuban emerged from the stands and saluted the NBA Mavericks fans in the arena. He introduced himself and said he's excited to guest host the show. He then asked where the Mavs fans are. Ugh. Sorry, Rockets fan here. Cuban said fans see him get crazy ringside during Mavs games, but he'll get crazier hosting Raw. He said he's got a showdown later on tonight between Sheamus (boos) and his main man, the WWE champion John Cena (kids screaming). Cuban said he'll give them a face-to-face verbal fight. But, he knows what people came here for and he kicked off the show.
On cue, John Cena's music hit to a huge reaction. He's in a singles match to start the show. Out as his opponent was Carlito to play up last week's deal with Carlito representing the locker room against Cena. Ringside, the Bella Twins were shown sitting next to Cuban in the front row.
1 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. CARLITO -- non-title match
Carlito was aggressive early on with blows to the face as Lawler danced around the topic of wrestlers in the locker room being jealous of Cena's spot. Carlito scored an early nearfall that put Cena in jeopardy, but Cena shook off a busted bottom lip and started to set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle routine, but Sheamus's music interrupted. Sheamus came out on stage and Cuban hopped over the railing to stand between Sheamus and Cuban. Cuban told Sheamus to stop in his tracks, then local independent wrestlers dressed as security showed up to stand in-between Sheamus and Cuban. Back in the ring, Cena was distracted, which allowed Carlito to jump Cena from behind. Carlito wanted the backstabber, but Cena transitioned in mid-air to the Attitude Adjustment for the pin and the win. Afterward, Cena high-fived Cuban and Mavs players ringside including Shawn Marion.
WINNER: Cena at 3:03. Seemed like a random match thrown out there, but with a back-story involving Carlito. It was also odd to see Cena early on Raw, as WWE usually saves him for the end of the show. The whole thing was odd without the 15-minute opening talking heads segment to start the show. (n/a)
Championship Showdown plug: Cena vs. Sheamus up later for a verbal chat.
Next week plug: They plugged the three-hour Raw next week for the Slammys Award show. The video package included Jim Ross's voice back on Raw calling Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. WWE then plugged Dennis Miller guest-hosting the show.
In-ring: Randy Orton's music hit and out came Orton flanked by Legacy. Orton addressed Cuban that the Championship Showdown tonight will end in complete and utter chaos. He told Cuban to do what he wants him to do - lift the ban on his WWE Title shot as long as John Cena is champion. Cuban shook his head no several times. DiBiase then took mic and said he knows rich people have pride, but they don't have to be stupid. He said they didn't want to do this, but they should take a look at the footage from the last time Orton and Cuban were in a ring together. Cue up footage from Survivor Series 2003 when Orton snuck up behind Cuban to give him the RKO. Cuban was not happy looking at the footage again. Cuban said he had a feeling it would go down this way, but here's the deal: Orton is not fighting the winner of TLC. "No way," he said.
Cuban added that Orton got lucky last week against Kofi Kingston because the WWE refs are worse than NBA refs and they didn't stop the match when Legacy attacked Kingston. He said he knows Orton is a competitor, so here's the deal: Orton vs. Kofi again tonight. But. But. He will be the referee. Cuban said he's in charge and he's the guest host, so deal with it. Cody Rhodes interrupted and said Orton isn't Kenyon Martin or his mother because this man - Orton - can and actually will hurt him. Cody called out the Mavs for being all-talk. He asked them if they want to do something memorable in this arena other than losing in the Playoffs. Cuban told Cuban to take up his challenge from the Dallas Morning-News and fight him tonight. If Cody wins, Cuban lifts Orton's ban. Cody left the ring and got right up to Mark to see what he has to say. Cuban proposed something to Cody that they take this up in June after the Mavericks win the NBA Title. Cuban told them to get lost, then there was a not-so-smooth transition to Evan Bourne's music and out came Bourne and Primo to apparently face Legacy. PYB (3) talk time: 6:25. They were going for the cheap local heat dropping bombs on the Mavs and it worked pretty well to get the live crowd riled up.
2 -- LEGACY (TED DIBIASE & CODY RHODES) vs. PRIMO & EVAN BOURNE
They joined the action in progress and Cole said Cuban was watching Superstars on Thursday to book this re-match. C'mon, Cole. Legacy cut off Primo throughout the early going as Cuban clapped and encouraged Primo from ringside. Cody and Primo then butted heads in the corner and Primo went to the usual babyface corner, but they switched up the corners and Bourne was in the usual heel corner. Bourne took a hot tag and started flying on folks before going up top. DiBiase cut him off, though, and teased a superplex, but Bourne shoved DiBiase down and landed his double knee smash. Cody broke up a pin attempt, though, and Primo yanked him to the ground. Bourne wanted a kick strike back in the ring, but DiBiase hit Dream Street from behind for the win.
Post-match: Cuban got in Justin Roberts's ear to give him an announcement. Roberts announced that Cuban is having Cody and Ted ejected from the AAC. Legacy threw a fit, but out came the indy security to escort Legacy away from ringside. So, they're removed from the Orton vs. Kofi situation for later on.
WINNERS: Legacy at 3:33. Short tag match to give Legacy a win, but then have them get immediate comeuppance to cover for another Bourne loss. Fine angle to build up Orton vs. Kofi later on. (3/4*)
Announcers: Cole cited the day Sheamus came over to Raw to set up his path of destruction leading to a title match against John Cena. They rolled footage of Sheamus "making an impression" on Raw, including the storyline of putting Jamie Noble out of WWE. After the video aired, Lawler plugged Cena-Sheamus in the verbal showdown later on.
TLC promo: They ran the video promo on wrestlers turned into crash dummies brutalizing their bodies with chair shots, falling off ladders, etc.
In-ring: Kelly Kelly was in the ring as special guest ring announcer for a divas match. Out came Maryse and they rolled footage of Maryse pinning Melina in a divas tag match last week. After Maryse completed her not-PG ring entrance, Gail Kim came out to face her.
3 -- MARYSE vs. GAIL KIM
Well, that was quick. Maryse picked up a quick win in less than two minutes to continue building her up to face Melina for the Divas Title. Post-match, Maryse stomped out of the ring and approached Kelly Kelly "Mean Girls" style. She cut a promo on Kelly, who then shoved her and a cat fight was on ringside. Suddenly, Melina stormed out to ringside and cleared away Maryse, who smiled her heel smile from the opposite side of the ring. Melina checked on Kelly ringside to close the segment.
WINNER: Maryse at 1:43. Basic, short divas match where the post-match angle took precedent. (n/a)
Tonight: Kofi vs. Orton with Cuban in zebra stripes.
Backstage: DX skit time. There was a Hulk Hogan DVD poster. Triple H then turned around and said it's time to spread some holiday cheer. Hunter slapped Shawn Michaels on the back to get him to turn around. Michaels with the tongue-in-cheek plugs for merchandise before the camera panned down to show them wearing green DX shoes. Wow. Michaels, playing the Uncle Eddie character, decided they should play the Smackdown vs. Raw video game. Hunter accused Michaels of being a re-gifter, then Hunter pulled out a big present. He said he talked to a nice Pakastani lady on the phone who promised years of enjoyment. Out came Hornswoggle sporting a new DX t-shirt with Hornswoggle in the middle of Michaels and Hunter. Hornswoggle grunted and grunted. Michaels translated that Hornswoggle has invented a new DX t-shirt and it's illegal, but he's doing it anyways. Michaels then talked Star Wars, prompting a debate between Michaels and Hunter on Star Wars. Suddenly, Hunter and Michaels pulled out scripts from their pockets and asked who wrote this crap. A stagehand ran away, then Hornswoggle was shown trying to get Michaels's Cowboy hat that was hanging atop their Christmas tree. Hornswoggle then fell on top of DX and the tree crashed down on them. DX fell on the ground and Horny did crotch chops to close out five waste-of-time minutes of TV.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged WWE's renewed contract with British Sky Broadcasting. Lawler was produced to waste 30 seconds reading the press release. Cole transitioned into plugging Sheamus and Sheamus attacking Lawler at MSG last month with a video package to emphasize the point.
Up later: Cena vs. Sheamus verbal showdown.
Backstage: Kofi Kingston was shown confidently walking backstage. To recap this commercial-to-commercial segment: a waste-of-time DX skit, a press release reading, another video package, and another plug for Cena-Sheamus later on.
ECW plug: Will the Ruthless Roundtable come apart at the seams? Three-hour Raw plug: Dennis Miller hosts the Slammys next week.
In-ring: Mark Cuban was shown wearing a referee shirt in-ring before Randy Orton came out for the top-of-the-hour main event. Out next was Kofi Kingston to be part of the match WWE hopes will get on ESPN.
4 -- RANDY ORTON vs. KOFI KINGSTON
Kofi and Orton locked up and Kofi drove Orton to the corner before clotheslining Orton over the top rope to the floor. Kofi then bounced off the opposite ropes and nailed a suicide dive through the ropes on the floor. Kofi rolled Orton back into the ring, but missed with a corner splash back in the ring. Orton then hit a knock-down clothesline to slow down Kofi and begin a methodical attack.
[Q5 -- second hour]
Orton slowly paced the ring to draw boos as Cuban stood back in the corner observing the proceedings. Orton landed a knee drop, then settled into a good old fashioned Orton reverse chinlock to wear down Kingston. Crowd rallied behind Kofi, then Orton started jawing with Cuban, who pointed to his referee t-shirt to remind Orton what's up. Kofi made a comeback, then fired off a bunch of right hands and Cuban interjected to break up before a five count. Kofi then followed up with more right hands and European Uppercut. Kofi followed with the Boom Drop before beginning his hand clap motion to set up his finisher. Orton ducked Trouble in Paradise, then dropped Kofi with his fallaway backbreaker move. Orton shot Cuban a glare, then he pounded his fists on the mat to stalk Kofi for the RKO. Kofi blocked, though, and put Orton in the backslide pin where Cuban made the fastest three count ever to give Kofi the win.
Post-match: The crowd popped and Orton was seething in the ring after getting screwed by Cuban. Cuban told Orton he waited six years for payback and now he got him. Cuban then booked Orton vs. Kofi in the rubber match at TLC. Cole liked the sound of that and said each one has a win "albeit...under weird circumstances." It was just funny how Cole emphasized "weird." Cuban then celebrated with Kofi to close the segment.
WINNER: Kingston at 5:23. Fine, albeit short match between these two. WWE isn't expecting the match-up to sell the PPV, so they're obviously not too concerned about protecting the match-up for PPV. The chemistry between Kofi and Orton was good for five minutes. (**)
Video package: Another look at Sheamus "on the war path" with the victory in the Breakthrough Battle Royal two weeks ago to get the shot at Cena. A brief sound byte from Jesse Ventura in the video package, but mainly Vince McMahon calling the match. Back to the announcers. Lawler said they'll have the showdown between Sheamus and "John Sheamus" later in the show. It is a tongue-twister, admittedly. Also up later: DX vs. Chris Jericho.
Backstage: They showed Mark Henry walking down the hallway with MVP. Henry has a U.S. Tile shot up next five hours away from his hometown of Silsbee, Texas.
In-ring: The Miz came to the ring first for the U.S. Title match. Mark Henry then came out and they rolled footage of the horribly awkward dancing by "Mini Me" Verne Troyer on last week's show.
5 -- U.S. champion THE MIZ vs. MARK HENRY -- U.S. Title match
They had an early spot to get the crowd involved where Henry teased sitting on Miz's face after blocking a sunset flip, but Miz moved and went on the attack. Henry came back, though, and went for a gorilla press, only to have Miz gouge Henry in the eyes to avoid the attack. Miz then dropkicked Henry to the floor before dropkicking Henry head-first into the ring steps. Henry then re-entered the ring and Miz wanted a top rope splash, but Henry caught him in mid-air. Henry wanted the World's Strongest Slam, but Miz countered in mid-air with a swinging DDT. Miz then made the pin for the win. Whoa. Lawler built up Miz for "turning it up a notch" with the title on the line.
WINNER: Miz at 2:37. Miz with a clean pin on Henry. And now we're Even-Steven after last week, but Miz's win was pretty strong this week. It sure looked like they were going to have retain via count-out, so the finish exceed expectations for building up Miz as a credible threat in the ring. (*)
Backstage: Chris Jericho talked strategy with Big Show, who stood motionless with his chest puffed out.
Jeff Hardy DVD: They plugged the Jeff Hardy DVD while he's still faced with the charges. I hope he's receiving royalties to pay the legal fees. Check out Sean Radican's DVD review in this week's Torch Newsletter.
Ringside: They showed Chris Masters in a dress shirt trying to talk to Mark Cuban. "Hey, bro, can you give me a job where I don't have to flex my pecs to get a paycheck?"
In-ring: Hornswoggle came to the ring with Eve randomly. They're in a mixed tag match against Chavo Guerrero and Jillian. Oh great, we're back to Hornswoggle vs. Chavo.
6 -- HORNSWOGGLE & EVE vs. CHAVO GUERRERO & JILLIAN
WWE didn't give the audience any indication why this match was taking place. Anyways, the match started with Hornswoggle vs. Chavo, then Eve and Jillian battled for a bit. Jillian tried a handspring smash, but Eve got her knees up. Eve then hit a handspring splash and scored the pin for the win. Post-match: Chavo teased taking out Hornswoggle again, but Eve stood up to Chavo. Chavo then chucked Horny down, Suddenly, Chris Masters entered the ring and took off his dress shirt. He confronted Chavo and sold he wanted a piece of Chavo. Chavo then pounded on Masters's money-making pecs a few too many times, prompting Masters to begin flexing his left pec. Chavo checked down at his pecs to see he didn't have that kind of power. Eve was kind of grossed out. Chavo then tried a clothesline, but Masters ducked and put him in the Masterlock before delivering a full-nelson slam. Masters then checked on Eve to make sure she was okay before flexing his pecs some more and Eve smiled and giggled. Masters left with Eve, then Horny tried to flex his pecs, but he realized he didn't have that power either. So, he just delivered some crotch chops in Chavo's direction.
WINNERS: Horny & Eve at 2:20. Don't ask for an explanation. We're just going to move along. (n/a)
Video package: More Sheamus destruction, this time on Santino Marella. So, what's going to happen later with Cena-Sheamus?
[Commercial Break - Smackdown plug for tomorrow night's Smackdown TV taping in Houston. C.M. Punk, Chris Jericho, and Rey Mysterio have been advertised for three months. I'll be covering the taping tomorrow night, so check for my SD/ECW taping report on Tuesday night.]
In-ring: Michael Cole was in the ring with Jerry Lawler to break down the TLC PPV featuring "some of the most dangerous matches the WWE Universe has ever witnessed." Cole almost jumped out of his suit trying to give the final hard sell for the PPV from San Antonio.
In-ring: Chris Jericho came to the ring for the TV main event sporting a beard from the Iraq trip. No Big Show. After a recap of last week's main event where Hunter beat Jericho, they cut to a shot of Jericho standing in the ring. There were about 10-15 "Jericho Sucks" signs being held by fans behind the announce table. Lawler told him not to turn around. Jericho then took the mic and vowed to win every 2009 WWE award at the Slammy's next week. Jericho said DX has created a lie that he'll lose at TLC and be off Raw. He said he's omnipotent because he does what he wants when he wants. Jericho said he'll break DX using tables at the TLC PPV, then he paused for a "You Suck" chant. He said he's never been vanquished from WWE and he never will. He then called the fans troglodytes and said they will never forget him. Troglodytes (noun): a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in cave; a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes. Nice.
Smackdown plug: Rey Mysterio vs. Batista in a street fight.
In-ring: Chris Jericho was still in the ring waiting out his theme music. DX then came to the ring for the handicap match main event as Cole summed up Jericho's promo: "DX is going to lose, and that's a fact." That would have saved some time. DX did their pyro intro as Cole gave DX the "Hulkamania" build-up and verbiage on commentary.
7 -- DX (SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H) vs. Unified tag champion CHRIS JERICHO -- handicap match
Jericho and Michaels started things off, then Hunter tagged in and worked over Jericho. DX began exchanging tags before Michaels blasted Jericho with a chop across the chest. Lawler said many people in the "WWE Universe" were enjoying this beating on Jericho, who had nowhere to go to avoid punishment. Suddenly, Jericho shoved the ref into Hunter. With the ref down, Big Show lightly jogged to ringside and palmed Shawn Michaels by the head to give him a headbutt. Show started landing clubbing blows, but Hunter had a chair. He put it across Show's back, then Show turned around and was not happy. Show then punched the chair and the chair kinda sorta deflected into Hunter's face. Michaels tried to pull out a ladder, but Jericho dropkicked it into Michaels's stomach. Show then rammed the ladder into Hunter and Michaels's stomachs before Jericho and Show placed DX inside the ladder like a sandwich. Show held the top rung down for Jericho to crack the chair over the ladder, with the object for DX to feel the reverberations. Jericho then grabbed the tag belts and yelled "never, never, never" down at DX. Jericho then climbed the ladder and stood atop the ladder while DX sold pain on the mat. Show's music played as the tag champs were in control.
WINNER: No decision or announcement around 3:35. The obvious conclusion is that DX gets the belts on Sunday, but WWE could just find another way for JeriShow to get their comeuppance without DX winning the belts. DX doesn't need the belts, so WWE probably went this route to get folks worked up to order the PPV to see JeriShow just take a beating for 15 minutes in the TLC match before Jericho grabs the belts by the skin of his teeth to win. (*)
Backstage: They showed John Cena and Sheamus on a split-screen walking down the hallway for the confrontation.
Tribute plug: Cue up the heart-string-pulling images for WWE's "Tribute to the Troops" show on NBC in two Saturdays.
Ringside: Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin was shown sitting ringside.
In-ring: Mark Cuban was at the podium to set up the Championship Showdown for the final segment on Raw to sell the PPV. Sheamus came out first, followed by WWE champion John Cena to sit at the opposite end of a long table with Cuban in the middle.
[Q9 -- over-run]
Cuban gave the guidelines: three questions with each participant have time to answer with nothing off limits. Sheamus was asked why he'll win on Sunday. Sheamus stood up, took his mic, and took us back to June 2002 when Cena made his debut. He said it took Cena three years to win his first title, but he'll win his first in a matter of weeks. Sheamus said the reality is Cena's body crashing through a table on Sunday. Cena had his stern mad face. "No Comment," he said without looking up. Cuban asked Sheamus if he's concerned about competing in a tables match. He said Cena obviously isn't concerned enough. Sheamus told Cena if he's going to be in any condition to face him again after TLC, he's even dumber than he thought. Sheamus said he might even put Cena through a table a few extra times after he wins the title. He said Cena has never faced anyone like him. "Your title, your health, your state of mind - this Sunday, your'e going to lose everything." Cena took the mic and teased talking with his serious facial expression on. "Cena, Cena" was the chant. He stared at Sheamus, put the mic back, and said, "No comment."
Cuban sighed, then went to question three as Cena sold dejection. You could see where this is going. Cuban then asked Sheamus or Cena for one final comment. Cena finally sprung to life and said he notices Sheamus talks a lot, but he hopes Sheamus believes what he's saying. Cena said he's been here for seven years. He paused for the crowd to cheer with a few mixed boos. Cena said he's wrestled one-hit wonders, up-stars, future Hall of Famers, everyone from Shawn Michaels to Kevin Federeline. He said they've always come looking for him and he's never gone looking for a fight. Cena said some people have wanted to beat him just to wipe the smile off his face. He said he's bean beaten, battered, hospitalized, operated on, hit with chairs, been in arenas where thousands stand behind him (cheers), and in arenas where thousands of people can't stand him (males interjected with boos). Cena said he believes in what he talks about. And, most of all, he believes in being able to say, "The champ is here." Cena turned to Sheamus and said he better believe that one cheap shot and a table smash isn't going to affect him. He told Sheamus to back up what he says or he'll make him a footnote in WWE history. Cena told Sheamus to let this sink in: "You impress me, but not for one second do you intimidate me." Sheamus over-turned his end of the table, then Cena chucked his office chair out of the ring and over-turned his table. Cena threw down the podium, then Sheamus shoved Cuban to the mat and kicked Cena square in the face. Sheamus cleared the ring as they replayed Sheamus knocked down Cuban and Cena. Crowd was hot for Cena as they replayed Sheamus giving Cena the bicycle kick. Sheamus set up the table in the corner, then he stalked Cena and kicked him in the head again. Cuban slowly got up and Sheamus looked at him like he's nuts. Cuabn slowly walked up to Sheamus, who stared back at him until Cuban shoved Sheamus down. Sheamus slowly got back up to his feet and stared down Cuban, who stood tall. Sheamus then kneed Cuban in the gut and stood over him. Sheamus picked up Cuban and teased putting him through the table, then he turned around and ran Cuban through the table to put an emphatic end to the action.
After Sheamus got his shine standing tall while Cena was out cold, some Mavs hopped over the guardrail and teased coming into the ring. They were smiling a bit too much being part of the show, so WWE cut away from the Mavs players as Sheamus pounded his chest and walked away up the entrance ramp. Sheamus stood tall, medics checked on Cuban, and Cena finally stood up in the ring. At 15 minutes past the top of the hour, Cena took off his t-shirt and stared a hole through Sheamus as if to say he's a dead man on Sunday. PYB (3) talk time: 16:05.
JC: Heck of a segment to sell the PPV on Sunday. Sheamus is a star. They walked a fine line with Cuban looking tough standing up to Sheamus, but Sheamus putting Cuban through the table was an exclamation point on three weeks of major build-up for Sheamus as a top-flight heel. WWE certainly put together some great TV in this segment trying to get folks to buy the PPV on Sunday.