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411’s WWE Raw Report 11.23.09

November 23, 2009 | Posted by Rob McNew

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-Coming off the heels of last night’s Survivor Series we head into tonight’s three hour Thanksgiving special of Raw. We’re hosted by former Minnesota Governor and WWE Hall of Famer Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and stars from all three brands will be in the house. While we’re sure to see some festive hijinxs from the usual suspects, and hopefully a Gooker cameo, we’ve also got just three weeks until TLC which comes to us from San Antonio. Is San Antonio’s favorite son in line for a title shot after not taking the fall last night in the triple threat? Let’s find out.

-Live from the Giant Center in Hershey, PA

-Hosted by Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler

-We kick off with a huge main event announcement of CM Punk vs. John Cena tonight.

-Justin Roberts introduces Jesse Ventura, but Randy Orton comes out instead. Orton says the normal routine is for the guest host to come out only to be interrupted, but he does not care. He says he knows Jesse Ventura has a major announcement to make regarding the WWE Title, and remembers what his father told him about Jesse. That he’s a revolutionary and a radical who isn’t afraid to break the rules. He wants Jesse to prove it to him. He knows he’s not supposed to face John Cena for the title anymore, but he knows the guest host can do whatever he wants and one of those things is lifting the ban on him wrestling for the title. He says Jesse knows he deserves to be World Champion more than anyone else, and he asks him to come out and name him number one contender. That brings out Jesse who says The Body is back and he’s not dressed like a Governor, but like pro wrestling. He says what he says goes, and tells Orton he respects him and likes his style. He says Orton reminds him of himself when he was younger. He says he’s an independent, and he stands for revolution. Being that he’s the Governor of Revolution he says he’s going to bring something completely new to the WWE tonight. He tells Orton he won’t get another title shot, because every week the same guys get title shots. He says he it won’t be HHH, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, or Chris Jericho. He says tonight there will be a series of matches, and to qualify for the matches you can never have been a World Champion. The winners of these matches will go to a battle royal, and the winner will be the number one contender. He says since Orton has already been there and done that he’s not eligible. Orton says he’s making a mistake, but Ventura says he’s made a lot of mistakes but he must stand by them and what he says goes. He runs down a series of firsts for tonight. John Cena takes on CM Punk. The Hart Dynasty takes on D-Generation X. Finally the contestants in the breakthrough battle royal who will face off in qualifying matches. He says the first match starts now and out comes Kofi.

Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
Apparently this is tri-branded. Cole explains the rules as the winner of the battle royal earns the title shot on his respective brand. Kofi misses a dive into the corner allowing Ziggler to pick up a two count and take control of the match. Mr. Perfect-esque necksnap from Ziggler gets a two count, and he follows that up with a suplex. Ziggler grabs a rear chinlock, and then throws Kofi to the mat. Ziggler connects with a series of elbows drops for two which he follows with a bodyscissor. Kofi stands up and throws Ziggler away which is followed by a jumping clothesline. Boom drop connects for Kofi, and it sets up a Trouble in Paradise attempt which misses. Ziggler goes for the Zig Zag, but Kofi blocks that by grabbing the ropes and this time the Trouble in Paradise connects for the win at 3:52 as the super push continues for Kofi.
Winner: Kofi Kingston (Pinfall-Trouble in Paradise **)

-Miz joins us to tell us what he’s thankful for. He’s thankful for being the only guy to win at Bragging Rights, for his team winning last night, and being the most dominant US Champion of all time. Actually he’s not thankful for those things, but he expects them. He tells us we should be the ones who are thankful we get to watch him, because he’s the Miz and he’s awesome.

Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Sheamus vs. Finlay
Nice to see young guys like Finlay getting World Title opportunities like this. Finlay attacks early and kicks Sheamus to the outside before driving him into the announce table. Back inside they go, but Finlay gets caught with a boot on the way inside. Sheamus charges into the corner and gets a knee from Finlay, but returns the favor with a back elbow and clothesline. Sheamus rams Finlay shoulder first into the ringpost, and that sets up the Razors Edge which finishes at 1:53. After the match Sheamus attacks Finlay again firing him into the ringsteps, and then to the barricade. Sheamus hits a big boot sending Finlay crashing into the crowd, and stands over him before heading back. Outside of some early token offense this was nothing more than a squash
Winner: Sheamus (Pinfall-Razors Edge *)

-Teddy Long stops by to tell us what he’s thankful for, but Vickie interrupts him to say he should be thankful that Mr. McMahon appointed her his personal consultant. She says we need to be thankful for having someone of her knowledge back in power. Escobar chimes in that it’s nice to have the eye candy too. She asks Teddy to pass the potatoes, and he appears to have half a mind to throw it in her face, but Escobar sadly catches the tray and feeds it to her with his hands.

-Orton stops by Jesse’s office to ask to get in to the battle royal. He says it’s a conspiracy that the WWE wants to keep him from wrestling for the title. Jesse says he’s probably right, but his hands are tied. He made his declaration, and he can’t go back on his word. He tells him he likes how Orton operates retiring the old guys, and he’s proud he never came back, but asks again that Orton not ask him to break the rules he already set.

CM Punk vs. John Cena
Punk says everyone is telling us what they’re thankful for. He says he has a lot to be thankful for. First and foremost he’s thankful that he’s straight edge, because he wouldn’t want to be like us. He says he doesn’t abuse his body, and that means he’s better than you. He says Thanksgiving’s biggest vice is gluttony, and by looking at some of us he can tell we’re all going to be shocked when we found out we ate too much. After we take medicine to make us feel better we’re going to have dessert because we’re fat and glutoness, and not as strong as he is. He says tonight he faces a turkey named John Cena, and lets him know that he can indeed see him. Gotta love Cena’s new color scheme. Not sure if that’s John Cena or John Elway. Punk ducks under the ropes to stall at the outset before locking up and grabbing a side headlock. Punk hits the ropes and runs into a shoulderblock from Cena which is hilariously sold by Punk. Punk comes back with a series of kicks, and then buries a shoulderblock in the corner. Cena reverses an Irish whip sending Punk to the corner, and a running bulldog gets a one count. Cena rams Punk headfirst to the top buckle, and then a drop toehold looks to set up the STF but Punk is able to slide out to the floor as we head to break. We return with Cena locked in figure four around the head by Punk. Cena powers his way to his feet and ends up dropping Punk in the electric chair. Punk comes right back with a clothesline for a two count, and follows up with a series of knees. Punk whips Cena into the corner, and follows up with a reverse neckbreaker for two. Punk traps the arm and delivers a series of elbows to the side of the head again getting a near fall. Cena ducks a clothesline coming out of the corner, and delivers a series of shoulderblocks. Cena hits the protoplex, and that is followed up with a five knuckle shuffle. Attitude Adjustment is countered by Punk who lands on his feet and delivers a spin kick. Punk goes for the GTS, but Cena catches the leg on his way down and locks in the STF. I thought for sure that was the finish, but instead Punk is able to reach the ropes. Awesome sequence. Cena charges and runs into a kick to the side of the head by Punk and that gets two. Punk delivers a pair of knee lifts which is followed by a running knee in the corner. Punk goes for the bulldog, but Cena counters firing Punk across the ring. Cena heads to the top rope for the Rocker Dropper which connects for a two count. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment again, but an elbow from Punk gets him free and spinning heel kick from picks up a two count. Punk goes for another running knee in the corner, but Cena moves and Punk finds himself laying across the top rope. Cena picks him and delivers the Super Attitude Adjustment from the top rope which hits and finishes things off at 11:59. Tremendous match from these two, and it really makes me want to see a feud and full pay per view encounter. Great stuff from two of the top performers in the company.
Winner: John Cena (Pinfall-Super Attitude Adjustment ***1/4)

-Recap of the first hour for those who didn’t remember the early start time.

-Mr. McMahon stops by Jesse’s office, and says if he wants a match with him he’s going to respectively decline. Jesse says he wouldn’t stoop so low as to wrestle him, as when he wrestled Vince was just an announcer. Jesse says tonight is a throwback night, and he’s going to do with Vince what his father did to him. He says Vince’s dad had so little confidence in him he made him an announcer. So tonight Vince and Jesse are going back on the mic together. OH SWEET JESUS YES!!!! Vince and Jesse back at the broadcast booth together. My wishes have been answered. He gives Vince a tuxedo to put on and his trademark red bowtie. This is officially the greatest Raw of all time.

Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Chavo Guerrero, “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters, & Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth, MVP, & Mark Henry
What did poor Swagger do to deserve this? He’s doomed. This is of course a match that will qualify all three members of the winning team for the battle royal. Swagger starts off with MVP, and takes him down with a go behind. Swagger grabs a side headlock, but hits the ropes and runs into a hiptoss from MVP. Swagger pushes MVP into the heel corner, and drives a series of shoulderblocks before tagging in Chavo. Chavo dives inside, but gets caught by MVP. Masters had made a blind tag however, and he takes control of the match. Chavo tags back in and he works over MVP some in the corner before tagging Masters back into the match. Masters hits a bodyslam, but hits the ropes running into a clothesline. R-Truth tags in and hits a one legged dropkick for two when Chavo breaks up the tag. That brings everyone into the match, and Henry is there to press slam Chavo over the top onto Swagger. Back to the legal men as R-Truth delivers the Lie Detector to Chavo to pick up the win at 3:07. It was a standard six man on fast forward.
Winners: R-Truth, MVP, & Mark Henry (Truth pins Guerrero-Lie Detector *1/2)

-HHH asks Shawn what was with the kick last night, and they basically completely no-sell any possibly animosity over things. Finally a midget shows up in a suit to which HHH quips “do these things grow on trees?” The midget gives Shawn a piece of paper and leaves, and we find out that they’re being sued in “Little People’s Court” next week. HHH says that’s pretty short notice. Har har har.

Evan Bourne vs. Primo
Randy Orton attacks Primo in the aisle as he heads to the ring, and gets in the ring and says he’s in the match now and orders the ref to ring the bell. Ventura interrupts on the titantron, and says that since Orton has been persistant he’s got something to say. Rules are made to be broken, and he broke all of them in his day. Since he likes Orton’s style he’s going to go ahead and put him in the match, and if he wins he can enter the battle royal.

Evan Bourne vs. Randy Orton
Orton attacks immediately, and fires Bourne into the ringpost for a two count. Orton slingshots Bourne into the bottom rope, but Bourne comes back with a series of kicks. Bourne delivers a spin kick to the head, and then hits the double knee off the top rope for two. Bourne springboards off the second rope, but he’s caught by Orton who delivers a powerslam. RKO finishes Bourne with ease at 1:29. Calm down IWC. I’d bet my house he’s not going to actually win the battle royal.
Winner: Randy Orton (Pinfall-RKO ½*)

-We get a montage of Vince and Jesse clips from the commentary days.

-Trailer for “The Marine 2” starring Ted Dibiase

Thanksgiving Melee Match: Jillian Hall, Michelle McCool, & Layla vs. Mickie James, Melina, & Kelly Kelly
The heels are dressed as Pilgrims, and the faces are the Indians. Michelle is not pleased at being dressed as a Pilgrim, but her promo is interrupted by Justin Roberts who brings out the special guest timekeeper The Gobbledy Gooker. The Indians got Tatanka’s music for good measure. Melina starts things off with Jillian. Melina drives a shoulderblock to Jillian to the corner, but after an interesting looking move in the corner appears to fail Jillian takes control. Jillian hits a back elbow, and then whips Melina into the corner. Jillian goes for a handspring elbow, but gets caught and thrown to the mat by Melina for a two count. Melina knocks Michelle and Layla off the apron, and they say to hell with it and leave. Jillian wonders where they’re going, and that allows Melina to hit a jackknife rollup for the pin at 1:59. Wow, that was all kinds of awful. Afterward Lawler goes into the ring for an interview with the faces, and the Gooker. The Gooker takes her head off to reveal that it is fact a returning Maryse and she blasts Melina with the Gooker head. Then she takes seemingly an hour to remove the Gooker outfit. This entire segment was just filled with fail.
Winners: Mickie James, Melina, & Kelly Kelly (Melina pins Jillian-Jackknife Rollup -*)

D-Generation X vs. The Hart Dynasty (w. Natalya)
Shawn starts things out with Kidd, and hits a flying forearm off the ropes. Smith made a blind tag though and catches Shawn with a back suplex for two. Smith delivers a European upper cut, and stomps Shawn down in the corner before delivering a backbreaker for another two. Smith hits a drop toehold, and tags in Kidd who is in with a low dropkick. Kidd grabs a side headlock, and then a spinkick to the side of the head gets a two count. Tag to Smith who is in with the trademark Bulldog delayed vertical suplex. Smith grabs a rear chinlock, but Shawn counters by shoving him into the corner. They collide head to head out of the corner, and both men tag out. HHH hits a high knee on Kidd, and then follows up with a facebuster. Clothesline from HHH is followed by spinebusters for both Harts. HHH sets up for the Pedigree on Smith, but Kidd breaks that up. The distraction allows Smith to hit a big boot, and the Harts set up for the springboard Hart Attack. Shawn comes in though to superkick Smith to break it up, and HHH catches Kidd off the ropes with the Pedigree at 4:52. Wow, I usually don’t complain about these things at all, but the Harts didn’t come off well in this one at all. Horrible job all around both in the glorified squash, and not even touching on the whole Bret/Shawn storyline.
Winners: D-Generation X (HHH pins Kidd-Pedigree **)

-Jericho is out to announce that he’s been informed by Jesse Ventura that DX will face Jerishow for the titles at TLC, and he’s out here alone because Big Show is on a vacation day. HHH interrupts to say they’re not fooling anyone because they’re in Hershey, and Big Show’s over at the chocolate factory. Jericho says this is serious business, and Shawn agrees and says the one thing Ventura failed to tell him was that the match would be a TLC match. Shawn goes for his catchphrase, but Jericho has HEARD ENOUGH OF THEIR CATCHPHRASES! Jericho says he’s the best in the world at what he does, and this isn’t about their juvenile pranks. He says of all that DX has accomplished they have never been tag team champions, and that will not change. Jericho says after TLC they can go back to hawking their merchandise, and he will see be a tag team champion. Jericho says as long as he has the titles they never will.

-Rey’s music plays, but instead of Rey we get Batista instead. He says Rey won’t be joining us tonight, and in fact he’ll be spending his Thanksgiving in a hospital bed. He says Rey has no one to blame but himself, as last month he stabbed Dave in the back costing him the World Heavyweight Title. He says he could have snapped him in half that night, but he didn’t as he was the bigger man. He gave Rey the chance to walk away, but he didn’t . Rey decided to stick out his little chest and be a tough guy. Rey chose to embarrass Batista, so last night at Survivor Series he chose to powerbomb Rey until the EMT’s had to scrape him off a steel chair. He says that’s why he’s here tonight. He’s putting everyone on notice. He says someone from Raw better win that battle royal, because of someone from Smackdown does he’s going to hit the ring and make them wish they hadn’t. He says Undertaker is his, and the World Title is his, and no one alive is going to stop him. That brings out Kane who wants to know what exactly constitutes disrespecting him? He asks if interrupting him as he stands in the ring making empty threats embarrass him? He says he hopes so because he wants to see what he will do about, and asks Dave to please make an example out of him. Dave thinks better of that, and slowly retreats with a sinister grin on his face.

Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Cryme Tyme vs. The Legacy
Like the six man before it both members of the winning team advance to the title match. Dibiase is my longshot prediction for the battle royal winner. Call it a hunch. Rhodes starts with JTG. Facebuster out of the corner by JTG gets a two count, and Cody bails to the floor. He tags Ted in when coming back in, and Dibiase gains control of the match. Rhodes tags back in and hits a face first suplex before tagging back out to Dibaise. Dibiase hits a kick and tags in Rhodes who hits a dropkick for two. Cody grabs an armbar, but JTG comes free and is able to tag in Shad. Dibiase is in as well and gets hit with an inverted atomic drop, and flying shoulderblock. Dibiase stops a backdrop with a kick, but jumps into a bodyslam which Shad turns into a powerbomb. Rhodes breaks up the two count, and both he and JTG go heading to the floor. In the melee Dibiase is able to sneak up behind Shad and deliver Dream Street to qualify Legacy for the battle royal at 3:00. Much like most of the qualifying matches this was pretty excellerated.
Winners: The Legacy (Dibiase pins Shad-Dream Street *)

-Gail Kim wants to say what she was thankful for, but Alicia interrupts and they tease the obligatory Thanksgiving food fight. Santino Marella interrupts and tells them they should not be fighting, but rather cooking for their husbands and boyfriends. He says his Thanksgiving wish is for all the divas to cook him a meal. That of course leads to Santino getting whacked with pies by various divas. Vickie is going to get in on the action, but of course she ends up taking the pie in her face instead.

Breakthrough Battle Royal-Participants: Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, R-Truth, Montel Vontavious Porter, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Ted Dibiase, & Cody Rhodes
Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon (complete with red bow tie and 80’s music) are out for commentary of this one. Faces and heels square off and we get, you guessed it, A BIG BRAWL TO START! Orton slides to the floor to stay out of the fray, as everyone pairs off. I absolutely forgot how awesome the Vince/Jesse tandem was. Really exposes how bad the commentary is today. Standard battle royal fare with a bunch of guys pairing off trying to throw each other over the top. Shockingly R-Truth is the first to go (yes that was sarcasm) as he is tossed by Sheamus. Orton slides inside at his first opportunity and immediately goes after Kofi while Jesse complains about Sheamus’s tan. Sheamus tosses MVP, but he runs into Henry who tries to slam him over the top. Legacy attacks, but that fails and my theory goes out the window as Henry eliminates both of them. That allows Sheamus to sneak up from behind eliminating Henry and we’re left with just Sheamus, Orton, and Kofi. Sheamus watches the two rivals go at it, but then goes after Orton only to get hit with the inverted backbreaker. Kofi comes back with a dropkick, and hops to the top rope. Orton backdrops him to the apron, but Kofi skins the cat and ends up headscissoring Orton over the top to the floor. That leaves just Kofi and Sheamus, but that doesn’t last long as Sheamus clotheslines Kofi over the top to the floor winning the battle royal at 6:25. He’s apparently getting the Umaga memorial “monster fed to Cena feud.” Hey you wanted different there you go.
Winner: Sheamus (last eliminates Kingston **)

-Verne “Mini Me” Troyer will serve as Guest Host next week

-Jesse is in the ring with Sheamus for the contract signing between him and Cena for the WWE Title. Ventura calls Cena to the ring and he is out. Sheamus says he is the number one contender, and demands that Cena stand up and face him. Cena while still seated calmly says he’s heard that a number of times before. He says usually the guy is a future hall of famer like HBK, HHH, or Randy Orton. Now its Sheamus demanding to face him. He asks why? Is it because he crippled a harmless announcer or retired a guy half his size? He says for the last eight years he’s faced the best around, and is proud to stand before us a Champion. Not because he got lucky or because he preys on the week but because he never gives up. Cena goes into total over the top oversell mode, because he apparently knows that its going to take a miracle to get anyone to buy Sheamus as a main eventer already. He tells Sheamus he’s not an announcer, and he will not be put in a retirement home. He says when he signs that paper he better be ready to go to war, and he better be ready to make a statement. Sheamus says he retires because he can, and he beats up hall of famers because he can. He says that’s nothing compared to what he’s going to do to him though. Both men sign the contract, but Jesse says he thinks there is a conspiracy in WWE to keep him champion. He says Cena is the perfect looking Champion that they want. Jesse says there was a time he didn’t get a title shot because he was a rebel. They don’t want someone like that. They want someone like him who fits the image. Cena gets in Jesse’s face, but it’s all a set up as Sheamus delivers a jumping big boot and throws Cena into the ringpost. He then powerslams Cena through the table, as Jesse announces that the match will be a table match. And the crowd goes mild. Sheamus stands over Cena holding the belt as you can hear a pindrop in the arena. Not in the “hushed silence” kind of way, but in the “really, this guy?” kind of way. Horrible idea.

-I loved the show until the end. I’m all for new guys getting their shot at the main event, but you at least have to spend SOME time establishing them before hotshotting them into a pay per view main event. While I’m sure some are lauding the WWE for trying something different this absolutely was not the way to go. There is NO CHANCE IN HELL Sheamus is winning the belt which means the match has no heat. Not to mention the character has only really had a month of development in front of the entire audience. Orton would have been a better choice, and I’m totally serious. Enjoy your momentum Sheamus because it’s about to die a horrible death.

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