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November 30, 2009
– Adam Russell

Another one of those nights

You get those times, like just about every Monday night, where I honestly wonder what the WWE writers are thinking. Some of the stuff
that they put on television is just so counter-productive that it beggars belief. Other stuff makes me wonder if the creative team have a
brain to share between them- the Chavo/Hornswoggle feud is a perfect example of this. There was no Chavo/Hornswoggle this week.
Hell, we didn’t even get the ‘Little People Court’ segment that was set up last week, and that I was dreading. The show still
managed to make me question why I bother watching on Monday nights though.

We kicked off proceedings with the tag team champions, Chris Jericho and the Big Show, heading to the ring to talk about the TLC match
with DX at the TLC pay-per-view. While we’re on the subject, giving the pay-per-view the same name as the signature match shows a
real lack of creativity. Jericho said that he and Show were out to clear up some misconceptions, mainly that many consider DX to be the
greatest tag team of all time. Sadly, there probably are many people with that line of thought. Jericho promised is some facts that would
expose DX, the first of which being that he and Show had held the tag team championships for over four months, impressive in this age
of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it championship reigns. Fact number two, as Show told us, was that DX are frauds, and can’t compare
to Jeri-Show. Not really a fact, that one, but okay. The third fact was that Jericho and Show have had over 42 championship reigns
between them, and fourth was that DX have never been in a TLC match. Triple H and Shawn Michaels made their way out at that point,
called Jeri-Show boring, and said that it didn’t matter that they’d never been tag team champions, because even with the titles
nobody cares about Jericho and Show. Triple H then lied that DX have been at the forefront of every revolution in wrestling over the last
ten years, and Shawn said that they’ll make history at TLC by being in their first TLC match and winning their first tag team
championship as a team. Hunter interjected that a bonus to them winning the championship will be getting Jericho, a member of the
Smackdown roster, off Raw, to which Jericho responded that Raw would be nothing without him. Hunter challenged Jericho to a match
for later in the night, and Show added the stipulation that if Jericho should lose, he faces DX in a handicap match next week, but if Hunter
loses…. Blah blah blah, you get the idea.

The saving grace of this opening promo was the fact that clips of Jeri-Show in action were looping on the TitanTron throughout.
Otherwise, it was typical show-opening promo stuff, setting up match for later in the night, wrestlers basically booking their own matches.
It was made worse by the standard DX ‘you’re not even worth our time and effort’ stuff. Tiresome.

--- Melina and Gail Kim Vs Maryse and Jillian Hall

Maryse made her comeback to Raw last week, inside the Gobbledy-Gooker costume, and before this match she was interviewed in the
back, calling Melina the real turkey. The action started with Melina and Jillian, with the divas champion hitting a clothesline and a monkey
flip, before tagging Gail in to hit a missile dropkick. She went for a cover, but Maryse broke it up, allowing Jillian to hit a side suplex.
Maryse tagged in, but Gail hit a neckbreaker and tagged in Melina. Melina hit a couple of dropkicks and a spear, and Gail hit a clothesline
on Jillian. Melina then went for the Paparazzi Destroyer, but Maryse held onto the ropes and hit the Hair Flick DDT for the win at 2’54.
This was a passable match, by divas standards, and the return of Maryse does add a different dynamic to the division. She’s
probably the most charismatic heel since, well, Melina.

--- Sheamus Vs Santino Marella

Sheamus took to the mic before the match, remarking that he only has to put Cena through a table at TLC, just as he did last week, and
he becomes the WWE champion. Santino then came out, and Jerry Lawler was apparently unaware that this was even supposed to be a
match. Santino accused Sheamus of overlooking him, made fun of his skin tone, and made the same Lucky Charms reference that has
been wheeled out time and again towards Irish wrestlers. This was enough for Sheamus to level Santino with a punch, and then hit a
short clothesline, the pump kick, and the Razor’s Edge. He then got a table from under the ring, propped it up in the corner, and drove
Santino through it. The match never got officially underway. Sheamus could use a win over an established midcard wrestler.

We cut to Show and Jericho walking in the back, and they ran into guest host for the evening, Verne Troyer. Troyer shook hands eagerly
with Show, but ignored Jericho.

After the break, Troyer was introduced to the live crowd, sitting on a stool on the stage. He obviously couldn’t make it down to the ring,
which is kind of depressing. Troyer said that he was backstage at Summerslam, and had a great time with all the wrestlers, but singled
out the Miz as the one person who rubbed him the wrong way. Miz came out, did his really annoying new ’really?’ catchphrase,
and made fun of Troyer’s political belief system. Nah, not really-he made short people jokes and called him Mini-Miz. The live crowd
seemed to find this funny. Also depressing. Troyer hit back by saying that he is a better actor and star than The Miz, and is also better with
the ladies. Miz threatened to kick Troyer into the ring like a football, but Mark Henry came out to make the save. Miz called Henry the Worldâ
€™s Blandest Man, and Fat Bastard, and Verne made a match between the two for later in the night. This was a really poor segment on
many different levels. For one, Troyer looked really awkward and out of place out there, and wasn’t really over. The Miz, too, has a
really poor act, in my opinion. I know people like his obnoxious personality, and he does do some things well, but a lot of the time he
comes across to me as a hack. Finally, it seems this whole thing was a way to set up a throwaway Henry Vs Miz match. I’ve stated
that I hate promo segments that just exist to set up a match, but it’s even worse when it’s a match that no-one really wants to see.

The big match advertised for this show was Kofi Kingston Vs Randy Orton, which was scheduled for next. Kofi came out first, but was
attacked on the way to the ring by Cody Rhodes, who sent him into the ring steps before being led away by officials. Kingston heroically
crawled into the ring and demanded that the match go ahead as scheduled but, when Orton’s music hit, Ted Dibiase came through
the crowd and took Kofi out by the leg from behind. Despite this, Kofi still demanded the match, and Orton finally came out to face the
man who has been a thorn in his side in recent weeks.

--- Randy Orton Vs Kofi Kingston

Unsurprisingly, this was one-way traffic, as Orton beat Kofi down, slamming his leg into the ring post, and slingshotting him against the
ropes. Kofi briefly hit back with some punches, but Orton kicked out at the leg and hit a quick-fire RKO to pick up the win at 3’09. Orton
then delivered a vicious-looking hangman’s DDT with Kofi draped over the top rope. This was really booked perfectly to keep Kofi
looking strong, putting him over as someone who is full of heart, but also putting Orton over as an evil genius par excellence. We’ll
get the real match between these two at the pay-per-view, I’m sure.

In the back, MVP and Mark Henry were seen in Verne Troyer’s office, and MVP was complaining about the Miz calling Henry bland,
putting over what a great dancer Henry is in the clubs. Jillian then came in and wanted to perform a song for Verne, and MVP told her to
go ahead, giving Henry the chance to show off his skills. Jillian sang, and Henry danced badly, before tripping and falling on top of her.
Bad comedy all around.

Before we cut to commercial, we saw Cena arrive in the back, and after the break he made his way out to the ring to cut an impassioned
promo, saying that he came out to make a statement, and that he wants to face Sheamus with the championship on the line that very
night. Sheamus didn’t come out, but Carlito did, making his return to Raw after several weeks of ‘creative having nothing for himâ
€™. Carlito said that he doesn’t know Sheamus, but likes what he represents, as he is part of a whole locker-room of people who
are hoping he wins the championship from Cena. This is a locker-room, he went on, that is tired of Cena hogging the spotlight, and while
Cena may represent the fans, Sheamus represents them. Cena told Carlito to listen, because he’s never been more serious in his
whole life (I wholly doubt that), telling him that if he doesn’t like him, he can step up and face him. Carlito tried desperately to chew on
his apple fast enough to spit it out in Cena’s face, which is exactly what I do whenever I’m challenged to a fight, but Cena
punched him in the mouth and hit an FU. Sheamus then came out to eyeball Cena, but rather than get in the ring, he just walked away.

This segment worked, mainly because of Carlito who reminded everyone of just what a good heel promo man he can be. You could
really feel his disdain for what Cena stands for, and it worked even better knowing of the history between the two. This was also an
extension of the speech that Jesse Ventura made about Cena on last week’s show, and it would be nice to think that this is leading
to a long-term storyline with a group of disgruntled heels going after the company poster-boy, Cena. Shamus walking away rather that
stepping up to fight did make him look a little weak though.

Troyer magically appeared again on his stool on the stage next, and introduced his ‘two good friends’, MVP and Mark Henry. MVP
told everyone to prepare for an epic moment, which turned out to be Henry giving his best estimation of rapping, which really wasn’t
very good at all. In fact, it was poor. Why not just keep Henry as a bad-ass killing machine? Oh, and push MVP.

--- The Miz Vs Mark Henry

A none-title match here, to make it even more pointless, which began with Henry using his power to dominate Miz, until the United States
champion ducked a charge in the corner, and hit his corner clothesline. He followed that up with a hotshot, and then went up to the top
rope. Henry predictably caught him coming off, and nailed the World’s Strongest Slam to pick up the win at 2’02. Troyer then
invited out the Bella twins, Kelly Kelly, and Eve Torres, and they, along with Henry, danced in celebration.

D-X were in the back next, and Triple H told Michaels that he had a dream that a little person told them they had to be in little people’s
court. Shawn said he had the same dream, and they dismissed it as a figment of their imagination. This, of course, was a reference to
the skit from last week, and the segment which was scheduled for this week. Hornswoggle then came in, in a suit, and grunted
something to D-X as subtitles appeared on the screen to translate. Call me unprofessional, but I didn’t bother to read the subtitles,
so I don’t know what’s going on. Troyer then rode in on his scooter and told Hornswoggle he should sue them for everything they
have.

--- Triple H Vs Chris Jericho

Shawn Michaels was performing commentary for the match, which began with Hunter laying into Jericho with punches, and Jericho
ducking out of the ring. Triple H went out after him and threw him back into the ring, at which point the Big Show headed out. That brief
distraction allowed Jericho to hit a springboard dropkick on Hunter, as we hit the break at 1’01. We rejoined the action at 3’53,
with Show now joining Michaels on commentary, and Triple H back in control of Jericho with more punches. Jericho reversed Hunter into
the corner, and the Game did his bump to the outside, where Jericho whipped him into the steps. Back in the ring, Hunter hit back with a
high knee and a facebuster, before Jericho countered a spinebuster into an attempt at the Walls of Jericho. Triple H kicked Jericho off,
but Jericho hit an enziguri kick and a bulldog. Hunter got his knees up to counter the Lionsault, but Jericho countered a Pedigree into a
jacknife cover for a two count. Triple H hit a clothesline, but another Pedigree attempt was countered into a DDT. Hunter then hit a
spinebuster, at which point Shawn and Show got into a face-to-face at ringside. Show shoved Michaels against the ring apron and, with
the ref distracted by this, hit a knockout punch on Triple H. The ref knew something had gone down, and decided to eject Show from
ringside. While he was doing so, Michaels climbed into the ring and hit Sweet Chin Music on Jericho. Again, the ref smelt a rat, and
ejected Michaels from ringside too. Both men were now down, but managed to make it back up before the count of ten. Jericho went for a
Codebreaker, which was blocked. Hunter then went for the Pedigree, but Jericho tried to counter into the Walls. Hunter kicked Jericho off,
and then rolled him up to pick up the victory at 11’13.

This was a fairly good main event, and I enjoyed the ending being something different than the usual interference leading to an unworthy
winner. My main complaint is that this now sets up Jericho versus D-X in a handicap match, whereas it would seem to make more sense
to have the babyface at the two-on-one disadvantage. You know, to build heat. Oh well, that’s for next week.

The decent main event could in no way save this show though. Aside from that, and the Kofi-Orton stuff, there was barely anything to
enjoy on this show. Aside from the stupid skits (which were no worse than any other week, truth be told), and the below average guest
hosting, the lack of actual in-ring action was very noticeable. In fact, during the first hour of the show, there was less than three minutes of
actual match-time. Obviously, that isn’t good enough. This show just reinforced that Raw is broken, and needs a big change in order
to fix it.

MVP of the night- Carlito. It was only a brief cameo, but that promo was probably the best performance on the show.

Host-o-metre- Troyer was bad, and I don’t know why anyone would think he wouldn’t be.