Hartford, Connecticut
December 28, 2009

results thanks to pwtorch.com

The lead-in for WWE Raw during NCIS focused on tonight's Raw having a New Year's theme, the Sheamus vs. John Cena WWE Title match, and Vince McMahon addressing the "rampant rumors" of Bret Hart's upcoming return. Michael Cole drew attention to it being 12 years since Hart was in WWE, which also appeared to be how far back they went looking for a graphic of Hart to promote tonight's Raw.

Raw started live with Chris Jericho standing outside the arena trying to petition fans to get him back on Raw. Gotta love a fan sporting a Texas Longhorns cap in the middle of Connecticut. Longhorn Nation on the move. Jericho kept shouting into a megaphone, but the fans kept booing him. Jericho smugly stared them down before they cut to the Raw intro.

In-ring: John Cena's music hit to start the show after Cole plugged everything going down tonight. Cena stormed the ring to a strong ovation, then he went under the ring and grabbed a table to bring it into the ring. Cena then sat down on the top turnbuckle to begin a most-unusual promo setting. Cena said two weeks ago, this right here is where Sheamus became WWE champion. He said two weeks ago, this is how Sheamus became WWE champion - he pointed down at the table. Cena said he wants the re-match right here, right now. He said he wanted the re-match to be a tables match because the crowd is jacked. The crowd liked the sound of that, then Sheamus's music hit.

Sheamus smirked when he came out on-stage, then he stomped out to the ring with the title belt around his waist. Sheamus stood on the opposite side of the table Cena established in the corner of the ring and asked Cena if he's for real. "You're the challenger, you're the one with something to prove," Sheamus said. Sheamus said he owns WWE Raw, which drew boos. Cena said Raw belongs to the fans, then asked for an answer. Sheamus said no way because he already beat Cena in a tables match and he wants to beat him one-on-one tonight. He said the last image of Raw in 2009 is going to be him standing over Cena's bruised and battered body holding the WWE Title. Sheamus turned to walk away, but Cena jumped clear over the table to startle Sheamus, who stumbled into Cena. Cena then dropped Sheamus through the table with an Attitude Adjustment to pop the crowd and get an advantage going into the main event later on. Cena smiled, then walked off to the back as refs checked on Sheamus. PYB talk time: 8:05.

JC: Much better start to tonight's Raw than last week's disaster. Not much of a comparison, but this segment had a lot more energy and passion, which is what Raw should deliver - if nothing else - 52 weeks out of the year. Cena with the AA to end the segment wasn't exactly a babyface move, but the audience ate it up for the title match to come.

[Commercial Break]

Tomorrow night on ECW: Matt Hardy and Evan Bourne return for Homecoming qualifying matches. No word on who they will be facing.

Recap: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler recapped the end of the opening segment with Cena dropping Sheamus through the table. The announcers debated what effect it could have on Sheamus for the title match. They plugged some of Timbaland's recent work and a "major party" going down.


Backstage: Timbaland was shown staring into space, then the camera panned right to show the Bella Twins and Gail Kim hanging out. Josh Mathews then interrupted to ask Timbaland about the status for the title match tonight. Timbaland appeared to be completely out of it recapping the situation. He said he wouldn't postpone the "biggest match of the century," then asked the crowd if they want to see Cena and Sheamus get it on for the WWE Title. The crowd responded affirmatively and Timbaland said it's settled. Cue up some more music for more dancing and dancing. Awkward, horrible TV.

Elsewhere backstage: Cody and Ted talked up "The Marine 2" DVD coming out tomorrow, then they approached Randy Orton. Orton matter-of-factly said he thinks it's time to break up Legacy. He said he's sitting here thinking he's wasted the last year-and-a-half of his life working with them. Orton said three men who have never teamed together before beat them last week. "I think we're finished," Orton said. He said none of them are champs and he doesn't associate himself with failure. Cody said they've bailed out Orton so many times this year, especially in title matches. DiBiase said they've put their bodies on the line time after time to save his butt. Orton said he's going to test them with two singles matches tonight. DiBiase has Bourne and Cody has Henry. Orton said he'll be watching. Cody didn't take Orton's threat seriously about being kicked out of Legacy. Orton brushed that off and vowed to kick each one out of Legacy and "beat the living hell" out of them. He walked off, leaving Cody to take a deep breath.

Outside the building: Chris Jericho was still petitioning with a megaphone. ... Announcers: They recapped Vince McMahon to address Bret Hart's "possible return to WWE" later on the show. Randy Orton then came out to the ring ahead of the Legacy matches.

[Commercial Break. A spot for "The Rock" Dwayne Johnson's new "Toothfairy" movie on January 22 aired. They're back to using "The Rock" as part of his marketing name instead of going alone as Dwayne Johnson.]

Outside the arena: Back to Chris Jericho shouting at no one in particular that he is taking a stand to keep him on Raw. A dad and his son walked by and ignored him. Jericho asked people to sign the petition to stop the injustice.

In-ring: Randy Orton was watching his ring entrance back from break while seated ringside. Out came Ted DiBiase, Jr. for the first Legacy survival match. Cole gave a quick plug for the new movie coming out tomorrow as DiBiase completed his entrance. Lawler suggested Orton is jealous of DiBiase being a movie star. They cut to a video package of behind-the-scenes clips from the movie. Back live, DiBiase was staring down at Orton from inside the ring. Evan Bourne then came out to face DiBiase.


1 -- TED DIBIASE, JR. (w/Randy Orton neutral ringside) vs. EVAN BOURNE

It appears WWE has addressed the most-obvious criticism of the lack of promotion/marketing for the "Marine 2" movie by finally incorporating the movie into a storyline - the announcers sold that perhaps Orton believes DiBiase has lost his focus on wrestling with the movie role. DiBiase was in control early on, but Bourne came back with a rapid-fire top rope huracanrana and a close two count. Bourne teased Air Bourne, but DiBiase blocked and dropped Bourne face-first on the mat in the corner. That looked off when it appeared DiBiase was going for a corner turnbuckle face-plant. DiBiase then followed up immediately with Dream Street for the pin and the win. Orton didn't appear to be convinced while DiBiase simply paced the ring post-victory.

WINNER: DiBiase at 2:31. Fine. Just fine. Only fitting Bourne loses his final Raw match of the year in short fashion to run his loss total to about 301. (n/a)

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Randy Orton was still sitting ringside, this time in the dark. He was selling complete boredom. Cody Rhodes then came out and Orton focused back on the ring. Cody shot Orton a look, then Mark Henry came out a-smilin' for the crowd. Announcers sold it as either Henry or Orton "beating the hell out of Cody" here.

2 -- CODY RHODES (w/Randy Orton neutral ringside) vs. MARK HENRY

The bell sounded and Henry tossed Cody clear across the ring before delivering a big shoulder tackle. Henry then teased a sit-out bomb, but Cody moved and kinda rolled across Henry's stomach like a kid jumping on dad sitting around the Christmas tree. Henry then ran over Cody with clotheslines before nailing a headbutt. Henry followed with a running butt bomb to crunch Cody's neck into the ropes. Henry slid through the ropes on the way down and started selling a knee injury. He slapped the mat in frustration to sell it some more. Back in the ring, Cody slipped out of a press slam and took out the knee. Cody then stomped Henry's foot and delivered a DDT for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Orton just slumped down in his chair and let his body dangle in a mix of frustration and fake enthusiasm. Orton got up from his chair and shook hands with Cody before playfully slapping him on the head to escort him away from ringside. Cody left with Orton patting him on the back.

WINNER: Cody at 2:05. I feel like nothing was accomplished here. Another tease of dissension and another short-term resolution. Hopefully there's a payoff down the line. Match finish was fine, as it's physically unrealistic for Cody to beat Henry without help - either from interference or an injury. (n/a)

Backstage: Jillian Hall and Gail Kim were shown talking with Jillian wanting to audition to be part of Timbaland's new tour. There was a sound off-stage and ...yep, there's DX with Hornswoggle. Triple H told Shawn Michaels he had Hornswoggle all week. Hunter said he's doing what anyone with a brand new midget would do - tape him to a skateboard. Michaels sold having his thoughts elsewhere. Hunter asked him what's up and Michaels said the whole Vince McMahon and Bret Hart thing bothers him. Hunter told Michaels to get his mind off McMahon's business. Besides, they have Big Show and a partner of his choosing tonight. He told Michaels not to do anything stupid. "Anything stupid?" Michaels asked while staring at Hunter with his tape. They cut back to Jillian faux singing to Timbaland. Back to Hunter wheeling Hornswoggle across the backstage area to knock over Jillian. Timbaland and Hornswoggle high-fived to close another brutal DX segment, but at least with a small tease for Michaels involved in the Hart-McMahon ordeal.

[Commercial Break]


Up later: DX vs. Big Show and a partner of his choosing, plus newly announced: U.S. champ The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston. It's non-title, but if Kofi wins, he gets a title shot next week.

In-ring: Kelly Kelly came to the ring for a divas match. They rolled footage of last week's six-divas tag match where Kelly scored a pin on Maryse, which brought out Maryse for a singles match. Cole referenced Maryse and Kelly in Timbaland's Divas-themed music video from a few years ago. Imagine that, historical perspective on Raw. Too bad it doesn't matter much here.


Kelly started off aggressive with a couple of early nearfalls. Kelly then airballed on her running handspring elbow in the corner, which allowed Maryse to nail her hair-flip & a DDT for the pin and the win. Post-match: Maryse took the mic and cackled like a witch. She said she hopes Melina is watching because she's the next Divas champion. Maryse cackled some more, then turned back to Kelly to deliver a kick to the stomach. Girl is crazy.

WINNER: Maryse at 1:39. I assume there will be a Melina-Maryse title match in January before the Rumble after they managed to stretch out a Maryse-Kelly program all of two weeks. (n/a)

Backstage: Vince McMahon was shown straightening up his jacket, then he started walking down the hallway. Lawler said McMahon addressing Bret Hart is up next.

[Commercial Break]

ECW plug: They tossed out a general plug for the ECW Homecoming before coming back live to Raw.

Outside the arena: Chris Jericho said he is a Conspiracy Victim. He's apparently upset after watching Jesse Ventura's show. Big Show then walked up to Jericho and said some things come to an end and they need to move on from their long-distance relationship from Raw and Smackdown. Jericho asked if there's someone else in the picture. Show said he cares. He handed him a note and said, "Let it go." Show walked into the arena and Jericho said he's going to cherish the note forever. He opened up the envelope and did a bit of a maniacal laugh. Well, that was a tough break-up.

In-ring: Justin Roberts gave a formal ring intro for Mr. McMahon, who walked out to a round of applause. Cole recapped the "rumors running rampant everywhere" about Bret Hart making his return to WWE for the first time in 12 years since the Montreal Screwjob. Lawler gave Hart's famous line and said Hart was once one of WWE's biggest stars. McMahon took the mic and waited out a "We want Bret" chant. McMahon said there's no question in his mind that everyone loves his concept of a guest-host each week on Raw. He said there's nothing he wouldn't do for the WWE Universe. However, he wants to address a few rumors or suggestions "by some of you" from people "in and out of WWE." He said those suggestions are a very special guest host next week on Raw. McMahon said that very special guest host next week is...Bret "the Hitman" Hart, he said.

McMahon said he put together a "brief, but unbiased history" of Hart for the benefit of the younger fans. Roll footage of classic Hart clips set to the memorable Hitman theme music. Just about every memorable moment from Hart's career with heavy focus on his first WWE Title victory in 1992 over Ric Flair. And then the tone of the video changed for a look at Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal with Shawn Michaels involved. They included the infamous Vince McMahon interview on "Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart."

[Q5 -- second hour]

Back live, McMahon said Bret Hart did not leave WWE on the best of terms. "I have said it before and I will say it again, Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart." The fans booed and McMahon said he's going to show he's the better man by allowing Hart to come back to WWE. He added that he "even allowed" Hart to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. McMahon said he didn't even have a word with Hart that weekend. McMahon said he stood there with his hand out for Hart to shake after Hart's speech, but Hart showed him "nothing but utter contempt and indignation." McMahon said despite all that, and to show the audience he's the better man and a better people-pleaser - He stopped here and commented on "the audience's stupid 'what's?'" before taking a shot at "imbeciles from Hartford who say 'what?'" Isn't the wife trying to win votes in Hartford?

McMahon then did a big intro for Hart as guest host next week, but he sold that he couldn't get the words out of his mouth. He tried the big intro again, but he sold not being able to get the words out again. "I just can't do it," McMahon said quietly. The fans chanted for Bret, then McMahon apologized. "Bret Hart will never be a guest host here on Monday Night Raw," he said. McMahon then left the ring.

Suddenly, Shawn Michaels's music hit as McMahon was on the way out of the ring. Here we go. Cole and Lawler said Michaels looked preoccupied earlier and Triple H warned him to stay out McMahon's business. McMahon entered announcer mode and gave it up for the "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels. Michaels, looking concerned, took the mic and addressed McMahon that sometimes - not often - there are rivalries that are even bigger than this industry. Michaels said there are rivalries so big that McMahon can't deny the people or himself simply because it doesn't work for him. Michaels said he's not talking about him vs. Hart, but him vs. The Undertaker. Whoops. Michaels said it at the Slammy's and he'll say it again that he knows he can beat Taker. He said he knows he can end Taker's undefeated streak. Michaels said he's not trying to appeal to McMahon's heart or his sense of right or wrong, but to appeal to his wallet.
"WrestleMania. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. The re-match," he said. "Make it happen." McMahon responded that he's reluctant to make this match because he's "learned his lesson as it relates to The Undertaker." Hm, interesting line from McMahon. McMahon said if this match is going to happen, then Michaels is going to have to make it happen.

McMahon turned to walk away, but Michaels pulled him back. He said he could understand McMahon being afraid of Taker, but being afraid of Bret Hart? Crowd oohed the shot at McMahon. Michaels said McMahon doesn't have many open chapters left in his life, so maybe he needs to put some much-needed closure to this one. Michaels told McMahon to bring Bret Hart back to WWE and bring him back to Monday Night Raw. "I promise you if you do, only good things are going to happen," he said over a chant of "We want Bret." McMahon said he's not afraid of Taker, Hart, Michaels, or any man who walks on this year. "I am fearless," he shouted. McMahon's eyes fluttered, he calmed down, turned away, then asked Michaels about what he just said. "Only good things will happen," Michaels repeated.

McMahon thought it over, then repeated it. McMahon leaned in close to Michaels, who stood his ground. He repeated it again and smiled a classic McMahon smile. He positioned Michaels as wanting Hart back on Raw. Michaels said, "Let's just say, I for one would be more than happy to see Bret 'the Hitman' Hart one more time." McMahon smiled and re-confirmed next week on Raw with a special guest host. McMahon paused again, then got the words out: "Bret 'the Hitman' Hart." Cole: "Eh, what was that all about?" Lawler said maybe McMahon was reading into something from Michaels. McMahon stomped out and Cole suggested Michaels has something cooking for next week. (3) PYB talk time: 14:55.

JC: My instant reaction is they put a lot of items in-play for storylines leading to WrestleMania. McMahon cut a promo on Taker (surprisingly), Hart, and Michaels here. There's also the great psychology from Michaels we've missed during his current comedy b.s. run with Triple H. This has potential to be great TV with so many hidden/insider messages to analyze for the next three months building to Mania.

Backstage: Josh Mathews stood by and brought in John Cena for another promo. Suddenly, Sheamus interrupted Mathews's line of questions with an ambush on Cena. Refs held off Sheamus, who was eventually pulled away. Cena was shown coughing on the floor to close the segment.

[Commercial Break. An ad for the January 4 Impact on Spike TV featuring Hulk Hogan aired.]


Backstage: Divas were talking about pop culture, then MVP was shown talking to Timbaland about looking for a new beat. Timbaland handed him some instructions, then Kofi Kingston walked in and thanked Timbaland for a chance to earn a U.S. Title shot. MVP interrupted and said he recalls Kofi beating MVP for the U.S. Title, so if Kofi beats Miz for the belt, MVP gets first title shot. Suddenly, there was a "Really?" off-camera. Miz walked into the shot, which drew some screams live in the arena. Miz said MVP isn't going to be able to beat Kofi for this title because Kofi won't be able to win the title. Miz said he'll be U.S. champion this time next year while all three of them are afterthoughts. Miz then brought in Gail Kim and told her she can't keep up with Maryse. "Really," he said. Timbaland, still apparently "out on his feet," brought in Miz and very slowly said if Kofi beats him tonight, then the match scheduled for next week will actually be tonight. Miz had to repeat it in the form of a question after Timbaland struggled to get the announcement out of his words. MVP then brought in a beat for everyone to sing "really" over and over. MVP told Kofi to handle business tonight.

Announcers: Cole was shown dancing ringside on-camera. Eesh. Cole and Lawler then talked up the Vince McMahon announcement of Bret Hart guest-hosting Raw next week. They recapped the Sheamus-Cena proceedings tonight with another plug for the title match tonight.

In-ring: The Miz's music hit and out came the U.S. champ for a non-title match. Lawler said Miz's mouth got him in trouble again. Out came Kofi for a title shot opportunity.

4 -- U.S. champion THE MIZ vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- non-title match

After a brief exchange, Miz went up top and Kofi caught him off the top with a smashing Trouble in Paradise kick to the face. He made the pin for the win on the lifeless Miz. After the bell sounded, Kofi's music hit to make the outcome official. Kofi wanted Miz to get up, but they cut to commercial before the title match started.

WINNER: Kofi at 0:47. (n/a)

[Commercial Break. Another movie plug for The Rock's new movie.]

5 -- U.S. champion THE MIZ vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- U.S. Title match

The action was joined in progress coming back from break with Kofi in control with multiple nearfalls. Kofi then connected with a twisting Boom Drop. He did his multiple clap motion to warm up the TiP and he connected. Miz rolled to the ropes and the ref began a count, but Randy Orton stormed the ring and yanked Kofi out of the ring for the match to be thrown out. Orton assaulted Kofi before dropping him on the floor with the RKO. Orton stared down at Kofi and the camera stayed with Orton for a while as he simply stared down at Kofi.

WINNER: Kofi via DQ at 1:32; Miz retains the U.S. Title. Rough night for Miz, who had zero offense here. Good to see WWE resuming the Orton-Kofi feud with Orton back to his awesome heel ways as one of the top characters on the roster. Good focus on Orton here. (n/a)

Up later: Another plug for WWE champion Sheamus vs. John Cena. ... They plugged Bourne and Matt Hardy returning to Raw tomorrow night. Look at, Bourne has another chance to be booked to lose and run up the loss column to about 302.


[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Mathews caught up with Randy Orton for a word. Orton said the issue with him and Kofi isn't over until he says it's over. Orton said he can't think of a better way to start the new year than by kicking somebody in the skull. Orton was apparently hinting at a singles match next week here.

In-ring: DX's music hit to bring out Triple H and Shawn Michaels for their tag match against Big Show and a dark silhouette. Cole recapped Michaels's night of challenging Taker to a WM re-match and convincing McMahon to bring back Bret Hart next week. Lawler positioned Hart as a babyface coming back to "the delight of the WWE Universe." DX's pyro went off and Lawler said it certainly is "explosive news." DX put their tag belts down in the ring before Michaels ran circles around the belts and Hunter took the mic. Hunter needs his time on the mic since he's been an afterthought for the most part doing comedy with Hornswoggle. Hunter opened by saying this place is packed. He asked if they're ready. Then, for the thousands in attendance and millions watching around the world - and for the Big Show, who seemed a little down earlier after his emotionally devastating break-up with this "partner" Chris Jericho, but no fear because Show has found a new man and he's about to come out here and consummate the relationship with his new partner. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," Michaels quietly interjected. Hunter finished the usual promo, then the camera swung around to the audience where Chris Jericho was walking into the arena. He held up his ticket for a front row seat as they cut to a commercial. JC: This is an unrefined analogy, but Hunter's weekly gay jokes are like TNA continuing to allow chair shots to the head on their programming - lame, unsophisticated, the definition of cheap heat when you can't draw real heat, and socially unacceptable.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back from break, Big Show walked out with...Chavo Guerrero as his new partner. Cole said the word in the locker room earlier today was Jericho picked a new tag partner who knew how to neutralize DX's new mascot, Hornswoggle. I'm not sure how Cole said that with a straight face. I also believe we can confirm why Vince McMahon doesn't care for tag wrestling: considering the homophobic nature of many of the promos written for the wrestlers, the word "partner" in the context of "tag wrestling" must elicit an immediate negative response in McMahon's mind.


6 -- Unified tag champions DX (SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H) vs. BIG SHOW & CHAVO GUERRERO -- non-title match

Jericho sold disdain ringside in the "jilted lover" role. Chavo cheated to take control on Michaels early on for Show & Chavo as Jericho began shouting encouragement from the front row. "Hey, Jericho, down in front!" said some of the fans on the second row. Best comedy of the night right there. Michaels then made a hot tag to Hunter, who cleaned house before accepting a spear from Big Show. Chavo then tagged in and went up top to stand on Show's shoulders. Show then launched Chavo for the ugliest-looking frog splash that missed badly. Michaels then came in and took Show over the top rope. Suddenly, Hornswoggle interjected himself into the match and dropped Chavo to his knees for a Pedigree attempt, but Chavo back-dropped him. In the confusion, Hunter greeted Chavo for the actual Pedigree, which benefited from being juxtaposed against Hornswoggle's attempt. Hunter, the legal man, made the pin for the win.

Post-match: A fan hopped the railing and started yelling at people, then Show, then he cleared the ring steps. The fan threw off his jacket and complained about DX before Shawn Michaels superkicked him off the ring apron. Hunter then took the mic and asked the fan, Chris, if he wants the re-match, then he has it. Hunter told him if he loses next week, then no more silliness or tickets or protests, because he's gone forever from Raw. Michaels closed with a promo saying what's up next week. Cole recapped DX vs. JeriShow for the tag titles as Lawler said "next week keeps getting bigger and bigger."

WINNERS: DX at 5:10. They found a way to stretch out the DX vs. JeriShow program with Chris Jericho not officially part of Raw to set up next week's re-match trying to put their best forward against TNA on January 4 to start 2010. Match was fine, but it didn't put Michaels in the best light selling for Chavo of all people here. You could almost hear people closing their wallets on WM26 for a Michaels vs. Taker match. (*)

Announcers: Cole and Lawler recapped the big events for next week, then they plugged Cena vs. Sheamus still to come.

Backstage: Cena and Sheamus were shown marching down the hallway on a split-screen to promote the main event coming up.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler recapped what's up for next week's mini-PPV Raw to start 2010: Orton vs. Kofi, DX vs. JeriShow for the tag titles, and Bret Hart guest-hosting.

In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced Timbaland, who came out as the special guest ring announcer with the Bella Twins. He was sporting a John Cena t-shirt to show his allegiance. Timbaland tried to get the audience pumped up for the "rawest match of the night." He took his sweet time introducing "my man, my boy, John Cena." Cue up Cena's music.

[Q9 -- over-run]

John Cena came out again to book-end the show. Cena stormed the ring and bro-hugged Timbaland before completing his ring entrance. Timbaland then brought out Sheamus as his opponent. Sheamus came out selling some of the effects of the table spot earlier in the show. After ref Chioda checked the participants, the bell sounded for the title match.

7 -- WWE champion SHEAMUS vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match

They came face-to-face, then Cena landed the first right hand blow. Cena tried to fire off his bulldog early on, but Sheamus countered and landed multiple right hand blows to the head and back. Sheamus followed with shoulder blocks in the corner before making a cover for a two count. Cena then retreated to a corner for a breather as Sheamus stalked him, but Cena came back with "vintage" shoulder tackles and a sit-out slam. Cena then set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle routine and delivered. He teased the Attitude Adjustment, but Sheamus grabbed the top rope and then the ref. Ref Chioda called for the bell for a DQ after Cena delivered the AA.

Post-match: Cena, selling that he's been through this song and dance with Orton, threw his hands up in frustration. Sheamus grabbed his title belt and left the ringside area selling a back injury, then Cena chased down Sheamus on the outside and ran him back into the ring. Back in the ring, though, Sheamus blindsided Cena with a bicycle kick to the head. He stood over Cena as the fans chanted Cena's name, then Sheamus delivered another boot to the head. Sheamus put his boot on Cena's throat and stood over him before they replayed the finish with Sheamus grabbing the ref by the shirt for the DQ, then Sheamus surprising Cena with a kick to the head in the post-match. Back live, Cena was shown selling injuries in the ring as Sheamus shouted, "Raw belongs to me" on the entrance ramp to close the show.

WINNER: Cena via DQ at 2:20; Sheamus retains the WWE Title. There was more time spent on videos and graphics promoting the match than the actual match itself. Almost a fitting way to close 2009 with a lot of sizzle and not a lot of steak in the Raw brand's main event scene. That said, Sheamus looked strong by show's end, which absolutely needed to happen, and Cena has a storyline-driven reason to seek revenge in 2010 with three or four weeks still remaining to sell the Royal Rumble PPV.