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September 21, 2009
– Adam Russell

The Downward Spiral

We started off this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw, on the back of some improving episodes in recent weeks, with this weekâ
€™s guest host, Cedric the Entertainer, arriving in a limousine along with the Bella twins, and a host of other people, including football
players, an old lady, and a farmer, complete with goat. I can’t even tell anymore when Raw is trying to be funny, but this opening
segment certainly didn’t bode well for the rest of the show.

The show proper began with DX heading to the ring, as Triple H would be in singles action. DX did their routine, and then addressed
their Hell in a Cell match with the Legacy at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (I wish they’d have come up with a better name for that
show). Hunter mentioned that Shawn Michaels won the first Hell in a Cell match, and then Shawn mentioned that Hunter has won more
Hell in a Cell matches than anyone else in the company- 5. They then said that Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase have never been in a Hell
in a Cell match, and that tonight, Cody is going to get a beating, whereas at the pay-per-view, he, along with Ted, will get destruction and
carnage. They finished a good promo by saying that the feud will come to an end in the cell. Serious DX can still get the job done.

--- Triple H (w/Shawn Michaels) Vs Cody Rhodes (w/Ted Dibiase)

A distraction from Dibiase allowed Rhodes to get the early advantage in the match, beating Hunter down with punches and kicks. He
continued to dominate until Triple H avoided a charge in the corner, sending Rhodes shoulder-first into the ringpost. Trips followed up by
sending Cody twice more into the steel, and then locking on a crippler crossface. Cody got to the ropes and then rolled out of the ring
where he squared up to Michaels. Triple H hit a baseball slide which knocked down both Rhodes and Dibiase, and that took us the
break at 2’17. We came back at 5’19, and Rhodes had regained control, grounding Hunter with a hammerlock chinlock. Triple H
fought out of the move, but was taken down with a neckbreaker, which earned Cody a two count. He followed that up with a side Russian
legsweep for another two, and then locked on a chinlock. Hunter tried to fight back but was beaten down, and Rhodes went up to the top
rope to hit a moonsault, which looked bad due to Triple H having to stand there for an eternity waiting to catch him. Jerry Lawler on
commentary tried to tell us that DX had never been in a Hell in a Cell match together, despite them referencing it directly in their promo
before the match, while in the ring Hunter managed to back body drop Cody over the top rope. Cody gave Shawn a slap to the face,
inciting Shawn to chase him around the ring, duck the waiting Ted Dibiase’s clothesline, and level him with punches. Cody
distracted Shawn long enough for Dibiase to flapjack him on the announce table, and then Legacy laid him out with a high-low. Cody re-
entered the ring, but Triple H ducked his charge, and set him up for the Pedigree. Before he could hit the move though, Dibiase came in
and hit him in the back with a chair, causing the disqualification at 9’12. Ted followed up with a chair shot to the head, and then
Legacy took turns hitting their finishers on the Game. They got set to crush his neck in the steel chair, but Shawn chased them off with a

This was a strong start to the show, with DX continuing to make the Legacy look like genuine main event calibre stars, and capable of
beating anybody. Ted and Cody have also played their part, stepping up the intensity. What was unthinkable just a couple of months ago,
Legacy beating DX in the feud-ending cell match, now seems like a possibility, and it is to both teams’ credit. This has become the
best feud on Raw.

Cedric the Entertainer was announced to the crowd next, and declared himself a real WWE fan before performing a comedy bit in which
he called Randy Orton’s dad, Bob Thornton, and needed to look at the video screen to remember the names of other WWE stars.
Santino then came out, calling Cedric Fredrick the Entertainment, and then telling a bad joke of his own, although at least his was
scripted to be unfunny. Finally, Chavo Guerrero came out and said that he’s worked out that it is the guest hosts who have been to
blame for his losing streak against Hornswoggle. He challenged Cedric to a match, and Santino accepted on his behalf. Needless to
say this was a terrible segment, clearly setting up more humiliation for Chavo later in the night.

Josh Matthews was in the back with The Miz next, asking why he stole Kofi Kingston’s United States championship belt last week.
Miz explained that he only took what was going to be his anyway, and that the US champion should be from America, not someone who
floated over on a raft with a Bob Marley CD. At that point, Kingston attacked Miz from behind, knocking him over and taking back his belt.

--- Evan Bourne Vs The Miz

The Miz got the early advantage in the match with elbows, and then slammed Bourne’s head into the corner and laid into him with
punches. The ref backed Miz up, and that gave Bourne the opportunity to hit a dropkick. He then ran at Miz, but was back body dropped,
with his leg landing on the top rope. Miz applied a double-arm chickenwing on Bourne, and then hit a face breaker for a two count. A
suplex followed for another two before he went back to the chickenwing. Bourne worked up to his feet and sent Miz face-first into the
turnbuckle, but Miz reversed a whip into the corner and hit his corner clothesline. He then went up to the top rope, but Bourne crotched
him, and climbed up to hit a top rope hurricanrana. Bourne climbed back up to the top and went for the shooting star press, impressively
landing on his feet when the Miz moved. However, this gave Miz the chance to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and pick up the win in a good
little match after 5’22.

In the back, Randy Orton told Legacy that they are on the cusp of ending DX for good, and then gave them the rest of the night off as he
prepared for a contract signing for his match with John Cena at Hell in a Cell.

That contract signing was next, with Jerry Lawler hosting. Orton and Cena made their way out, and Lawler informed them that a no
physicality rule was in effect for the night. Orton wasted no time in signing the contract, and then told Cena that he is more dangerous
than ever, and that he knows what it takes to win a Hell in a Cell match, whereas Cena has never competed in one. Cena countered
Orton’s words with a goofy promo, including showing a video of Orton saying ‘I quit’ in their match at Breaking Point over and
over again. He then told Orton that it is he who made this into a joke (no, it really wasn’t), and after he beats Orton he will just become
a dude in underwear hanging out with two other dudes in underwear. He warned Orton that he knows what he’s capable of, but that
Orton has no idea what he is capable of, and that he will destroy him in the cell. Orton responded that he would love to RKO Cena
through the table, but he legally can’t, so he’s found two individuals who have no problem putting him through hell right now.
With that, tag team champions Chris Jericho and The Big Show made their way out and Cena, rather than simply leaving the ring, stayed
to get beat down until Mark Henry and MVP made the save. Cedric the Entertainer then appeared on the big screen to announce a 6-man
tag team match for the main event.

Alicia Fox, the number one contender to the Divas Championship, sat ringside for our next bout, a non-title match involving the current
champion, Mickie James.

--- Mickie James Vs Beth Phoenix

The two locked up, with Beth pushing Mickie to the floor. She went for a slingshot suplex, but Mickie landed on her feet and hit a
neckbreaker, followed by a dropkick which sent the Glamazon to the outside. Mickie took the fight to her opponent, hitting a Thesz press
from the top rope to the floor, but then a distraction from Fox allowed Beth to ram her back into the steel post. Beth sent Mickie back into
the ring and hit a Glam Slam to pick up the win at 1’11. Alicia then came into the ring and hit her axe kick on Mickie to leave her lying.
Fox needs to find a new finisher, as this was looks incredibly ugly, and she doesn’t seem to be in control enough to guarantee her
opponents’ safety.

--- United States Championship Match- Kofi Kingston (champion) Vs Jack Swagger

Swagger came out fighting, clubbing Kofi to the mat and applying a top hammerlock. Kofi countered with an armdrag, and a couple of
reverse knife edges, but Swagger caught him attempting a leapfrog and placed him on the top rope. Kofi chopped him and went for a
tornado DDT, but Swagger blocked it and hit a big boot. At this point, The Miz ran out and tried to take off with the belt again, but Swagger
halted him with a clothesline, and then walked off with the belt himself. No official decision was given, but I guess this was a countout
loss for Swagger, after only 1’30. The big question is why Swagger would walk out on a championship match in which he had the
opportunity to actually win the belt legally. This now sets up a triple threat match between the three at Hell in a Cell, which following this
logic should end with Kofi picking up his belt at the beginning of the match and leaving the arena with it.

--- Chavo Guerrero Vs Cedric the Entertainer

Santino was announced as the guest referee for this match, as the stupidity reached a climax. Cedric, dressed in mask and cape, was
reluctant to lock up with Chavo, to the point that he crawled under the ring, as the whole world saw where this was headed. Chavo waited
for him to come out the other side, but the man who came out, though dressed the same, was much bigger than Cedric. This new guy
press slammed Chavo into the ring, and downed him with a clothesline, and an avalanche. He then went back under the ring, to be
replaced by Hornswoggle, also in cape and mask. Hornswoggle hit the tadpole splash, and then switched places with Cedric, who
picked up the victory at 4’15, longer than the last two matches combined. After the match, Cedric, his burly double, and Hornswoggle
all danced in celebration.

After the break, we saw Cedric bragging to Kelly about this win, when Chris Jericho came in. Jericho said he wanted to talk to Cedric, but
Cedric brushed him off. That was the Big Show’s cue to come in, and Cedric agreed to hear them out.

Back out in the arena, Jerry Lawler announced that tonight was Lillian Garcia’s last with the company. Garcia was then given an
opportunity to thank all of her colleagues and the fans, calling her ten years in the company an amazing adventure.

--- Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and The Big Show Vs John Cena, MVP and Mark Henry

Before the match, Jericho said that he and Show made a deal with Cedric that if they lost tonight, then next week Randy Orton would face
all three of their opponents in a gauntlet match. Orton was understandably upset until Show told him that if they win, they get Cena in a
gauntlet match next week.

Jericho and Cena locked up to start the match, with Jericho catching Cena with a cheapshot after a rope break. An Irishwhip was
reversed, but Orton blindly tagged in, only to be lifted up for an FU. Orton ducked out of the ring, chased by Cena, and when the champ
ran into Show, Jericho attacked him from behind, before sending him back into the ring. Orton powerslammed  Cena, and followed up
with a kneedrop, before tagging in Show, who hit a headbutt and tagged out to Jericho. Jericho controlled Cena with forearms, and an
elbow off an Irishwhip, and then brought Orton back in. Cena whipped off a quick side belly to belly suplex on Orton, and made the tag to
MVP as Orton tagged in Jericho. MVP hit the Owen Hart throw on Jericho, and then a pair of clotheslines, followed by a jumping
clothesline, facebuster and the Ballin’ Elbow for a two count. He looked to finish Jericho off with the Playmaker, but Orton distracted
him, allowing Show to hit a headbutt. Show tagged in and hit a powerslam on MVP, then cutting off a comeback attempt with a
clothesline. Orton came in and applied a facelock, but MVP elbowed out. This comeback attempt was cut off by a drop toe hold, and
Jericho tagged back in. He choked MVP in the ropes, but missed a splash, managing to tag Orton in before MVP could tag out. Orton sent
MVP to the ropes, but lowered his head, allowing MVP to kick him and make the hot tag to Henry. Henry knocked Orton down with
headbutts, knocked Show off the apron, and then flipped Jericho into the ring. Show charged in, but Cena was waiting to FU him over the
top rope, as Henry picked Orton up for the World’s Strongest Slam. However, in the confusion, Jericho was able to clip Henry’s
leg, and knock Cena over the top rope, giving Orton the window to RKO Henry and pick up the win for his team at 8’14. This main
event was decent, but felt a little rushed, with the match not getting underway until a minute before the regular two hours was set to
elapse. This now, predictably, sets up Cena to run the gauntlet next week of Show, Jericho and Orton.

So a disappointing show this week, one that got progressively worse after the opening match, only picking up slightly for the main event.
There was some good stuff here, but when it’s surrounded by so much rubbish, it becomes hard to justify caring about it.

MVP of the night- Triple H. Really did a good job putting over Legacy, selling their beating, and making the whole feud seem big time.

Host-o-metre- Cedric the Entertainer falls into the ‘bad celebrity’ category. He wasn’t as bad as Jeremy Piven, but fell way
below the likes of Seth Green and Freddie Prinze, Jr. A bad showing.