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September 14, 2009
â€“ Adam Russell
One of the most popular divas in WWE history, Trish Stratus, was making her comeback this week to be the guest hostess of Raw in her
home town of Toronto. Stratus was an incredibly likeable performer, who gained a lot of appreciation for the hard work she showed in
making a remarkable improvement in her ring work. The womenâ€™s division was never better than when Trish was around.
The show kicked off with another returning star, Batista making an appearance to give what was billed as a â€˜career-alteringâ€™
announcement, with retirement obviously being the implication. The Animal came out with a huge cast on his injured arm, and in solemn
mood, thanking the fans and talking about what a rough year he has had with injuries. He then confirmed that he was there to say
goodbye. A Batista chant broke out at that point, and out came the former WWE Champion (after losing the belt to John Cena the previous
night), Randy Orton, the man who put Batista on the shelf. Orton said that he wasnâ€™t very happy about losing his championship, but
the news of Batistaâ€™s retirement cheers him up. He continued that the big, bad animal is going out with a whimper, and that he
should save his big speech because nobody cares. He then claimed that it was because of him that Batista was really retiring, at which
point the Animal began laughing. Orton asked what was so funny, and Batista said it was two things; number one, Orton being very
predictable, and number two, the fact that he knows something that Orton doesnâ€™t. As he said this he removed his cast and downed
Orton with a clothesline, following up with a powerslam and a clothesline over the top rope. Batista then said that he wasnâ€™t retiring,
but was going to Smackdown, and that the guest host has granted him one more Raw match, a no holds barred match with Orton tonight.
All-around a pretty strong opening segment here, setting up the tone of the show and the big main event. My two criticisms are that, firstly,
if Iâ€™m Batista facing the man who put me on the shelf, not once, but twice, Iâ€™m not clotheslining him over the top rope and leaving
it at that- Iâ€™m beating the hell out of him. Thatâ€™s what an animal would do, right? Secondly, Batista on Smackdown means, in all
likelihood, the quality of my favourite television show going down, at least in my opinion.
Trish Stratus was introduced to the crowd next and, despite a good opening pop, didnâ€™t really get the kind of reaction I was expecting,
probably because her delivery was fairly weak. She talked about WWE and Raw being her home, and said the fans would be seeing a lot
of her during the night. She then made the announcement that Randy Orton would get his WWE Championship rematch against John
Cena at the next pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell.
--- Kofi and Primo Vs The Miz and Jack Swagger
Opening match time, and this was a rematch from last weekâ€™s Superstars. Primo and Miz started, with Primo punching away at Miz
after he took a cheapshot at Kofi. Primo sent Miz into the corner and followed in, but was back body dropped by Miz. Primo countered by
balancing on the turnbuckle, and went for a head scissors takedown, but Miz slammed him face-first into the mat. Swagger then came in
and got a two count off a powerslam, before applying an armbar surfboard. Primo fought up but Swagger sent him to the corner. He then
went for his running Vader Bomb, but Primo got his knees up and made the tag to the United States champion. Kofi hit a high cross body
block, a clothesline, a dropkick, and a jumping clothesline, and then dropkicked Swagger into the Miz, with the latter falling off the apron.
He mounted Swagger in the corner, at which point Miz picked up the United States championship belt and started to leave ringside. Kofi
was distracted by this, and that allowed Swagger to hotshot him on the top turnbuckle, and hit the gutwrench powerbomb for the three at
2â€™55. This match was disappointingly short, and disappointingly short of Primo for my tastes. It looks like weâ€™re heading for a
triple threat for the belt here between Kofi, Miz and Swagger, and Swagger, to me, would be a natural for a long run with the
The next match was a number one contenders match for the divas championship, which Lillian announced as a triple threat. Maybe
because it had the triple threat of both girls in the ring and the current champion, Mickie James, stinking it up on commentary.
--- Gail Kim Vs Alicia Fox
Kim was over in her hometown, and responded with one of her best performances since coming back to the WWE. She started with an
elbow, and then an armdrag and a hurricanrana which sent Fox to the outside. Kim kept the pressure on with a baseball slide, but back
in the ring fell victim to a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Fox locked on an armbar next, which Kim worked out of, only to be taken down with a
Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Fox worked a body scissors, but then missed an axe kick which allowed Kim to make her
comeback, hitting a neckbreaker, clothesline, and a sweet high cross body block from the top rope for a two count. Gail went back up top,
but missed a missile dropkick, and that allowed Fox to hit the axe kick for the win at 3â€™41. Both girls looked pretty good here, but I
wonder if the result would have been different if it werenâ€™t for that terrible James/Kim match from a few weeks ago.
Next we were given a look back at the history between Randy Orton and Batista, something that we would go back to several times during
the night, and which really added to the feeling of importance of the main event.
We cut to Trish Stratus in the back next, and she was approached by Beth Phoenix, upset not to have been in the number one contenders
match. Chris Jericho came in at this point, and claimed that Trish canâ€™t stop thinking about him. Trish retorted that Jericho now has a
new soul-mate in The Big Show, and Beth said that itâ€™s easy to talk trash when she doesnâ€™t have to back it up like Jericho does.
She added that Jericho didnâ€™t run off to open a yoga studio the moment some new competition came along, which prompted Trish to
sign a match pitting herself and a mystery partner against Beth and Jericho.
Next, we got a look at the stills from the Legacy/DX submissions count anywhere match from Breaking Point, before it was time for Ted
Dibiase of Legacy to take on DXâ€™s Shawn Michaels.
Cody Rhodes and Dibiase came out first, and had some words for the crowd. Cody mocked DXâ€™s â€˜are you ready?â€™, asking the
fans if they were ready for the dawning of a new era in the WWE. He said that they didnâ€™t just beat DX, they made them submit, and
went through a list of notable names who never had that distinction, including the Rock, and Steve Austin. Dibiase said that last night
was just the start, and they wonâ€™t stop until DX are off Raw, and out of their lives, forever. Cody then concluded a good promo by
saying that they are no longer known as the sons of Dusty Rhodes and the Million Dollar Man, rather those two legends are now known
as the fathers of the Legacy.
--- Ted Dibiase (w/Cody Rhodes) Vs Shawn Michaels (w/Triple H)
Ted came out swinging in the early stages of the match, beating down Shawn, who came back with a kneelift, and a swinging
neckbreaker. Ted bounced back with a snap powerslam, as a â€˜you screwed Bretâ€™ chant broke out, warming the heart of this long-
time Bret Hart mark who refuses to move on. Ted then hit a back body drop, with Michaels rolling to the outside, only to be suplexed back
in. Dibiase dropped a couple of Ted Sr-style fist drops for a two count, and then locked on a facelock, which Shawn elbowed his way out
of. Any comeback attempt from Michaels was cut off by a sweet standing dropkick from Ted, earning the youngster another nearfall, and
he then went back to the facelock. Again, Shawn fought out, and this time Dibiase missed with the dropkick attempt, and Shawn applied
a figure-four leglock. Rhodes climbed onto the apron to cause a distraction at that point, allowing Dibiase to rake the face of Michaels
behind the refereeâ€™s back. Very old school there. Dibiase then applied the Million Dollar Dream, but Michaels used his momentum to
send him into the corner, and then countered a piledriver attempt into a back body drop over the top rope. Dibiase climbed back into the
ring, but was met by an inverted atomic drop, and then a flying forearm, complete with nip-up. Shawn then took Dibiase down with a
Thesz press, before hitting the flying elbowdrop off the top, and tuning up the band. While he was doing so, though, Cody reached into the
ring and pulled his legs out from under him, causing the disqualification at 9â€™04. Hunter then charged Cody and the two began
brawling at ringside, with Ted and Shawn fighting through the crowd. This was a wild and woolly ending to a pretty decent match, and
really did a great job of keeping the momentum going in the feud. Itâ€™s great that, after their big victory last night, Legacy were allowed
to keep looking strong, and on the level of DX.
--- Hornswoggle and Evan Bourne Vs Chavo Guerrero and Carlito (w/Rosa Mendes)
Part Infinitum of the Hornswoggle/Chavo feud next, with at least the tag team partners thrown in to make this resemble a wrestling match.
Hornswoggle started with Carlito, but quickly tagged to Bourne after a headbutt to the gut. Bourne came in with a sunset flip for a two
count, after which Carlito bailed and tagged Chavo. Chavo was met by a dropkick, but came back with a hotshot, only to be low
dropkicked off the apron by his arch-nemesis. Chavo again recovered to hit Bourne with a spin kick, and then tagged in Carlito, who
picked up a nearfall with a powerslam and an elbowdrop. Chavo was tagged back in, and hiloâ€™d his way into the ring, then locking in
a chinlock. Bourne worked up to his feet, and kicked away at Chavoâ€™s legs, then taking him down with a running hurricanrana. He
knocked Carlito off the apron, and then hit a spin kick on Chavo. Carlito came in to break up the cover, but got kicked out of the ring.
Bourne then tagged Hornswoggle, and dived over the top rope to take out Carlito. Hornswoggle went up to the top rope, with one of
Carlitoâ€™s apples in hand, but Chavo followed up after him. However, Hornswoggle spat the apple into Chavoâ€™s face, and finished
him off with the tadpole splash after 3â€™54. After the match, Chavo got on the mic and told Hornswoggle that he gives up. Does that
finally signal the end of the worst feud, whatâ€¦ever? One can hope.
Josh Matthews was in the back next with the new WWE champion, John Cena, who was heavily booed by the Toronto crowd. Josh asked
Cena how he withstood Ortonâ€™s punishment to regain the championship, and Cena responded that there were times when he
wanted to give up, but he made a promise that he would not quit, and he kept his word. He then warned Orton that in their match at Hell in
a Cell, he would see a more brutal and savage side of Cena.
Another Hell in a Cell match was announced next; DX Vs Legacy. This one makes sense, in light of their arena-wide brawls of recent
--- Trish Stratus and MVP Vs Beth Phoenix and Chris Jericho
No surprises for Trishâ€™s partner here, keeping alive the feud between Jericho and the Big Show, and MVP and Mark Henry. Trish and
Beth got us started, with Phoenix powering the guest hostess into the corner and hitting a powerslam, before Trish came back with
forearms, and chops. Beth tried a clothesline, but Trish did the Matrix move to avoid it and hit an elbowdrop. She went for the cover, but
Jericho pulled her off, drawing MVP into the ring to clothesline Jericho over the top rope. The momentum took them both to the outside,
where they brawled until the Big Show made his way out and attacked MVP. That brought the disqualification at 1â€™32, and it also
brought Henry to ringside to chase the tag team champions away. However, that wasnâ€™t the end of it, as Trish got on the mic and
announced that the match would continue as a six-person tag.
--- Trish Stratus, Mark Henry and MVP Vs Beth Phoenix, The Big Show and Chris Jericho
We came back from the commercial break with Show dominating MVP, and tagging out to Jericho. Jericho sent MVP to the ropes, but
was rolled up for a two count, with MVP then hitting a clothesline. Jericho regained control with a kick, and then applied a half-nelson
chinlock. MVP punches his way out of the hold and caught Jericho with the Owen Hart throw, and a couple of clotheslines, before Jericho
dodged a big boot and tagged Beth. Beth squared up to MVP, pushing him in the chest, but when she tried a kick, MVP caught her foot
and tagged Trish in. Trish took Beth down with a Thesz press, and then she and MVP hit a dual Ballinâ€™ Elbow. Jericho pulled Beth out
of the ring, but MVP took Jericho out with a rolling plancha. Trish then hit the ropes, but was tripped by the Big Show, causing Henry to
take Show down with a big shoulderbarge. Beth hit the ring and picked up a two count on Trish, and then went up to the second rope.
From there it was all Stratus, as she hit the Stratusphere and the Stratusfaction for the three at 5â€™01. A nice little match here, with lots
of heat, and itâ€™s not like the loss to Trish really hurts Beth. Trish looked as good as ever in the ring, and itâ€™s good to see the
Jericho/Show-MVP/Henry programme continue, as I feel they could do more with it.
--- No Holds Barred Match- Randy Orton Vs Batista
Orton went straight for a chair as our main event got underway, but was cut off by big Dave who threw him into the ring. Batista avoided a
hangmanâ€™s DDT and sent Orton into the corner, driving his shoulder into his gut. Orton came back with a knee, but Batista ran him
over with a clothesline. Orton next tried to get something from under the ring, but Batista followed him to the outside, clotheslined him
again, and sent him back inside the ring. This time Orton took advantage of his opportunity, catching Batista with a thumb to the eye, and
dropping him with his patented backbreaker. He then stomped away at him and hit a kneedrop, before bringing a chair into the ring. As
he got ready to swing with the chair, Batista crunched him with a spear, sending him to the outside. He followed after him and slammed
his head into the announce table, and delivered a hotshot on the security wall, before whipping him into the steel steps and tossing him
back inside the ring. Orton went for a quick-fire RKO, but Batista countered with a back suplex into a uranagi, which was enough to send
Orton packing. Thatâ€™s when John Cenaâ€™s music hit, and the champion met Orton with a clothesline and sent him back into the
ring. Batista was waiting with a spinebuster and Batista Bomb to pick up the emphatic victory at the five minute mark. Normally Iâ€™d
complain about jobbing out the top heel and number one contender so convincingly, but I thought the match was booked perfectly. Orton
had been caught off guard, one night after a vicious match, by an intense, angry animal with a score to settle, and he had no answer.
Orton can complain about the circumstances of the match, and Cenaâ€™s involvement, while Batista can go to Smackdown on a roll.
All in all, this was a fine episode of Raw, continuing the trend of three good shows on the bounce. We saw some decent wrestling, big
angles being advanced, matches set up for the next pay-per-view, and some nostalgia with Trishâ€™s return. You canâ€™t really ask for
anything more from a wrestling show.
MVP of the night- Randy Orton. Did the honours for Batista in a big way.
Line of the night- Lie of the night this week, as Michael Cole claims Breaking Point was the first time Shawn Michaels had tapped out.
Okay, he added the qualifier of â€œShawn Michaels, DXâ€�, but it barely makes the statement less laughable.
Host-o-metre- Trish did a good job. I feared for her after her first segment, as she struggled with the promo, and the reaction wasnâ€™t
what I was expecting. Performed well in the backstage bit with Beth and Jericho though, and got to do her stuff in the ring.
The Michael Cole Vintage Moment of the Night- Coleâ€™s getting predictable, as for the second week running the vintage moment was
Shawn Michaelsâ€™ nip-up.