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WWE SLAMMYS FLASHBACK (12-14-09 Raw): John Cena wins tournament, Stand Up for Dennis Miller, What a difference a year makes for WWE's two top champions

Dec 13, 2010 - 2:25:19 PM
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WWE Slammy Awards Flashback
December 14, 2009 Raw episode
Top Ten Things To Know

CenaJohnArt2_130GG_33.jpg

(1) Main Event: John Cena beat Randy Orton in the finals of a Superstar of the Year tournament to win SOTY.

(2) First Round Tournament Matches: Cena vs. C.M. Punk and The Undertaker vs. Orton.

(3) Fateful Final Words: Shawn Michaels, upon accepting Match of the Year, said, "Undertaker, I can beat you," to set up the WrestleMania 26 re-match.

(4) Stand-Up For WWE: Dennis Miller hosted the Slammys edition and opened the show with a stand-up comedy routine.

(5) Timing: The Slammys was the night after the TLC PPV; this year, the Slammys leads into the TLC PPV.

(6) 2009 vs. 2010 Announcers: 2009 featured Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker; 2010 will feature ???.

(7) What A Difference A Year Makes: Current World Hvt. champion Kane was in a six-man tag match with Great Khali and Christian against William Regal, Kozlov, and Ezekiel Jackson to start the show.

(8) What A Difference A Year Makes II: Current WWE champion The Miz was U.S. champion and in a six-man tag match with IC champion Drew McIntyre and Zack Ryder against John Morrison, Yoshi Tatsu, and Mark Henry.

(9) Diva Of The Year: Maria. She was promptly interrupted by "Kanye West" Batista in a pink shirt complaining about Smackdown GM Teddy Long.

(10) 2009 vs. 2010 Divas Collection Match: 2009 featured a 14-Divas evening gown match; 2010 will feature a battle royal to crown Diva of the Year.

***

WWE Raw Live Report
December 14, 2009
Live from Corpus Christi, Tex.
Aired live on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


WWE Raw opened with a video package promoting the Slammy's Award show tonight. They showed clips from various highlights of the year in WWE TV. Arena: Live in the arena, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the four-man, three-match tournament for tonight. Cena vs. Punk and Undertaker vs. Orton to determine the Superstar of the Year. Matt Striker is also on commentary. Three-man booth like the TLC PPV last night.

In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced Dennis Miller as the guest host of the show tonight. Miller came out on-stage to begin running through a monologue. When he needed a cheap pop, he referenced the local crowd. When he needed another cheap pop, he went to Nancy Pelosi and Vickie Guerrero in a wedding dress on the video screen. After some more jokes died, he flashed the "golden boys" on the screen: Barack Obama and John Cena. Boos from the crowd. Miller said one of these men just went through a table and one has yet to put anything on the table. Striker, a noted Republican, had a good laugh. Miller, who read his jokes off a piece of paper, said WWE is the only audience where he can still use an Obama joke. Miller then plugged Tribute to the Troops and USA Cares, his charity. He plugged the military and troops to draw a sympathy applause from the audience. Just an absolutely terrible segment to start the show.

Miller then introduced R-Truth and Jillian Hall. Truth and Hall led some dead air on the broadcast before Jillian started to sing some Tag Team "Whoop there it is." Truth then re-wrote his classic rap by telling her to "Shut Up" instead of "What's Up?" Cue up the nominations for tag team of the year: DX, Chris Jericho & Big Show, Hart Dynasty, and Legacy. Back live, Jillian announced Jericho & Big Show as the winners.

On-stage: Jericho and Big Show came out on-stage dressed in black suits to capture their mood after losing the Unified tag titles at the PPV last night. Jericho was in a foul mood. So was the audience. Jericho said JeriShow is clearly the best tag team of the year and of any year. Jericho then thanked the long-forgotten Edge for being a weakling and getting hurt. (Edge name-drop to get his name back in the mix.) He also would like to thank himself for choosing the giant destroyer, Big Show, as his tag partner. Show then leaned into the small mic and said despite what happened last night, they will retain --- check that, regain the tag titles in the near future. Show credited Jericho for being the smart one. He then announced they want to cash in their re-match against DX tonight. Show shot him a quizzical look, but went along with it.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and Striker were shown on-camera to narrate still photos of John Cena going through a table to lose the WWE Title to Sheamus. The fans booed the still shot of Sheamus holding up the WWE Title belt.

[Q2]

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole plugged a vote on WWE's website for Diva of the Year. Lawler said he will be a huge factor on who wins.

In-ring: William Regal was in the ring with Ezekiel Jackson and Kozlov. The announcers gave some love to ECW during a video package showcasing recent turmoil between Jackson and Kozlov. Back live, Regal took the mic to announce a challenge to Christian to find two partners for a six-man tag match. Christian came out selling the effects of the ladder match, then said he found two monsters who can take out Kozlov and Jackson. He added that his two partners have put aside their differences for this cause. Kane's music hit and out came Kane with... Great Khali. Those are some big differences to put aside after Kane storyline-injure Khali and put him out of action on Smackdown. Anyways.

1 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN & GREAT KHALI & KANE vs. WILLIAM REGAL & KOZLOV & EZEKIEL JACKSON

Khali started things off and looked horrible trying to move around. Christian then tagged in and the heels isolated Christian to begin working him over after he took a beating in the ladder match last night. Kane then tagged in and battled with Regal. Jackson then tagged in and clotheslined Kane. He yelled and screamed, but the audience was sitting on their hands. Kozlov then blind-tagged in to upset Jackson. Kane then ran over Kozlov and Khali suddenly tagged in and delivered a big right hand chop to Kozlov for the pin and the win. Regal was frustrated with his bad luck post-match. Khali did a little dance post-match while Kane stared at him.

WINNERS: Team Christian at 2:30. Why the torment? A slow, plodding, brutal match. (1/4*)

On-stage: Miller was back on stage to give it up for Kane and "Big" Great Khali. Miller cracked a joke about Michael Moore that was too complicated for its worth. He then brought out SD GM Teddy Long and ECW GM Tiffany for another Slammy's Award for Breakout Star of the Year. Tiffany hyped the New Superstar Initiative on ECW before Teddy introduced the nominees. Nominees: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Yoshi Tatsu, and Abraham Washington. And the winner is... new WWE champion Sheamus.

Sheamus came out on stage with the WWE Title belt around his waist. He had a big smile as the audience booed him. Sheamus then walked over to Teddy and Tiff and accepted his award. Loud boos for Sheamus once his music stopped. Sheamus asked the audience if they take him seriously now. He asked John Cena if he takes him seriously now. Sheamus said he's not a foot-note in WWE history anymore. "I beat you, Cena," he said. Sheamus said Rowdy Piper, Paul Orndorff, Curt Hennig, and Ricky Steamboat never achieved what he achieved last night and they're all WWE Hall of Famers. The crowd interjected with a "You Suck" chant. He then declared Cena is never getting the title back. He emphatically held up his Slammy trophy to close the segment.

[Q3]

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: CLS (Cole, Lawler, Striker from here on out) plugged the Superstar of the Year nominees to introduce the mini-tournament on tonight's Raw to determine the winner. First up, Orton vs. Taker. Then, Punk vs. Cena.

In-ring: Legacy's music hit and out came Cody Rhodes by himself. Cole said that Cody wants to emulate Orton from last night and defeat Kofi Kingston tonight. Striker said Cody is "no gimmick needed, he's simply Cody Rhodes." Out next was Kofi, who had his upper arm/shoulder taped after Orton's Punt to the shoulder in the match last night.

2 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. CODY RHODES

The bell sounded and there was a "Kofi, Kofi" chant that sounded close to a "Cody, Cody" chant. The announcers talked about the breakthrough performances by the young stars on TLC last night. Kofi hit a Boom Drop less than a minute into the ring, then Ted DiBiase stormed the ring and attacked Kofi for a DQ.

WINNER: Kofi via DQ at 1:01. (n/a)

Post-match: Evan Bourne made the save for Kofi. After things were settled down, Dennis Miller was back on-stage and he awarded himself a Slammy for Best Announcement by a Guest Host when he ordered the match restarted. "Al Sharpton, Jeremy Piven, Suck it! Ring the bell," he said. That got a crowd reaction. Miller's best moment (read: not super-awkward moment) of the show.

3 -- KOFI KINGSTON & EVAN BOURNE vs. TED DIBIASE & CODY RHODES

After the "Suck It" declaration, the bell sounded and Kofi and Bourne hit double planchas on Legacy on the outside. They cut to break and plugged Tribute to the Troops airing on NBC this Saturday night.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, DiBiase had Kofi in a headlock on the mat. Striker inserted a product placement plug, saying DiBiase was almost "Marine-like" taking apart Kofi. Cody and Ted continued to tag in and out working over Kingston as the audience tried to rally him. Bourne then took a tag at 6:30 and cleared the heels from the ring. Bourne then hit a double knee drop on Cody in mid-air for a two count. DiBiase and Kofi ended up on the outside, then Rhodes caught Bourne and turned his neck inside-out with an emphatic Cross Rhodes spinning neckbreaker for the pin and the win. Post-match: Kofi checked on Bourne while Legacy left the ring with a victory.

WINNERS: Legacy at 7:20. It was quite obvious how this going down once Bourne entered the match to be the man to take the fall. Meanwhile, Kofi is back to floating around aimlessly in the mid-card. (3/4*)

Plug for later: Striker did a voice-over on a graphic plugging DX vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show for the tag titles in a re-match.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

Arena: Sounded like a Hall of Fame presentation as Dennis Miller came out on-stage. He apologized for the opening, saying no one told him that all you have to do is say "Suck It" to get a reaction. He obviously hasn't studied DX's history. Miller then introduced Vickie Guerrero and Santino Marella to present the next award. Santino was all-smiles with this sort of Will Ferrell-character ironic smile. Vickie tried to talk, but the audience booed every time she talked. Vickie reminded everyone he's now Smackdown consultant. Santino spoke and the crowd cheered. He botched his joke and they still cheered. A fat joke, of course, was thrown in. Santino then introduced Shocker of the Year: Randy Orton DDT'ing Stephanie McMahon while Hunter watched, Batista turning on Rey Mysterio, Punk retiring Jeff Hardy, and Sheamus putting Mark Cuban through a table. Vickie then announced the winner: Punk retires Hardy.

On-stage: C.M. Punk came out celebrating his big victory. Punk walked over to the podium and ripped the trophy away from Santino after hugging Vickie. Punk celebrated with possession of the trophy, then they cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Tomorrow night on ECW: Tiffany has invited former ECW champion Kane as a special guest. "What twisted plan does Kane have for ECW?" I hope it's not bringing Khali with him.

In-ring: C.M. Punk stood center ring to cut a promo. He said he had a list of people to thank, but he didn't think the people in Corpus Christi would stay quiet. Punk thanked himself because without him, the great year would not have been possible. He said he became World Hvt. champion twice, won the MITB at WrestleMania for the second straight year, and he's the only man with the courage to tell people they're throwing their lives away. Punk said he doesn't care if it's not what they want to hear because it's real. He said his crowning-achievement was getting rid of the Charismatic Enabler Jeff Hardy forever. Punk said it only makes sense for him to take his rightful place as Superstar of the Year.

[Q5 -- second hour, standard first hour]

Punk's music hit and he handed over the trophy before the announcers recapped Sheamus's title victory at TLC last night. A minute past the top of the hour, Cena's music hit to a strong reaction. They cut to a shot of one girl screaming her lungs out. Cena pointed to his new merchandise color scheme and stormed the ring to face Punk, who stood back in the corner waiting for Cena to go through his routine.

4 -- JOHN CENA vs. C.M. PUNK -- Superstar of the Year tournament match

Cena ran over Punk with a shoulderblock, but Punk answered with a leg whip. He then mocked Cena's You Can't See Me and followed with a high knee in the corner followed by a running bulldog. Punk then settled into a mat hold as the audience chanted for Cena. Punk then tried the G2S, but Cena countered center-ring with the STF. The audience popped, then Cena re-applied the STF and locked it in center ring. Punk had nowhere to go and he tapped out. Cena briefly celebrated before selling frustration with his current circumstances.

WINNER: Cena at 1:43. Short match to get Cena his heat back and set up the post-match. Punk had a promo to help cover for the inevitable short loss, but this wasn't a good showcase for Punk. (n/a)

Post-match: Cena sold concern as he looked around the arena. One woman was shown very determined as she cried with her support for Cena. Cena dejectedly congratulated Sheamus on the victory. He said he needed to take a second to apologize to the folks he let down last night. Cena said sometimes you try so hard at something and walk in so prepared, but you still fail. Cena said every time you fail, it's painful. He said it causes sadness and he saw disappointment last night. Cena said a man's character is often judged by what he does when his back is against the wall. The setback is great, the failure severe, but you never give up. Cena entered preacher promo mode to encourage the audience to never give up, to push forward, etc. He said some people were so offended by what happened last night that they might have lost faith in him. He addressed a "hater" in the crowd and said he respects his opinion. But, he's talking to the supporters who stand in his corner. Cena said he won't give up on them. Audience is hanging on every word here. Cena said all he has is the WWE Universe. So, he's not going to vow to work harder or put in more time in the gym. He said what happened at TLC will never happen again. Tim Tebow speech here. Cena said his Road to WrestleMania starts right now. He said no one can stop him and he won't be stopped. Cena looked into the camera to give WWE's website a headline: "I will not lose another match again until I become WWE champion." That's a long headline for WWE's website. Cena dropped the mic as the announcers talked about Cena making a bold statement tonight. So, now Cena awaits Taker-Orton. PYB (3) talk time: 6:30..

Up next: The announcers plugged the "Match of the Year" Slammy Award.

[Commercial Break]

On-stage: Dennis Miller was back to the podium to thank the WWE wrestlers for their work with the U.S. troops. Miller then brought out "The Show" Triple H to announce the Match of the Year. Miller's adjectives are a bit off tonight. Hunter walked out to the podium covered in merchandise to sell, then he waited out a strong applause. In typical Hunter fashion, he thanked "Dennis Milburn" for the intro. Hunter asked the crowd if they're ready for the 2009 Match of the Year. He said there are matches every year called epics or classics, but there is only one MOTY. Cue up the nominees: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (Jim Ross's voice included), John Cena vs. Randy Orton in the torture match from Breaking Point, Jeff Hardy vs. Edge at Extreme Rules (with Hardy's voice back on TV), and Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown from Bragging Rights.

[Q6]

Back live, Hunter unveiled the winner: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker. That was pretty clear. Cole said it was an honor to be part of that match. Michaels walked out on stage and shook hands with Hunter after they won the tag titles last night. Hunter plugged the WM25 DVD if you haven't already seen it. Hunter said he had to follow that match and he didn't stand a chance. He patted Michaels on the stomach, then gave HBK the podium. He said he won the award last year by defeating Ric Flair (whoos) and this time he "came up a little short" against Taker. Michaels said he's proud of what they accomplished in Houston that night. Michaels thanked the audience, then decided he wasn't done talking. Crowd with a loud "HBK" chant as Michaels stood alone for the first time in a while on WWE TV. Michaels snapped into promo mode and said, "Undertaker, I can beat you." He said he knows it and more importantly, Taker knows it. Michaels threw out the challenge and the crowd oohed. "You and me, WrestleMania, one more time," he said.

Up next: Undertaker vs. Randy Orton in part two of three of the Superstar of the Year series tonight.

World Hvt. Title DVD plug: They finally plugged the "History of the World Hvt. Title" DVD that comes out tomorrow. O'Connor, Thesz, Dusty, Kiniski, Race, Flair, Steamboat, Funk, Cena, Orton, Undertaker, Rey, and Triple H were among the stars shown in the old-school and more-recent clips. Jim Ross is earning his keep with his voice-overs on historic match footage tonight.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: They came back live to the arena and the bell tolled for Undertaker's entrance. Taker made his entrance still with possession of the World Title after TLC last night. It's not often Taker makes his entrance first. Randy Orton's voices then told us he was next out. Orton slowly walked to the ring as Cole talked about Orton's ban on WWE Title shots being lifted thanks to Cena's title loss last night.

[Q7]

5 -- RANDY ORTON vs. THE UNDERTAKER -- Superstar of the Year tournament match

The bell sounded and the announcers picked up the debate on Batista not winning the World Title thanks to Teddy Long. Cole and Lawler defended Long's decision-making. Have to go with Shane McKinley's point on the inconsistency with Long's character since Long didn't call for a restart in Morrison-McIntyre after McIntyre won the IC Tile thanks to an illegal eye-gouge. As for the match, Taker teased his signature moves early on, but Orton countered everything. Taker then delivered a "vintage" leg drop across the ring apron from the outside. Striker asked Cole if he does "vintage" twice in one match. Cole said he tries not to. Legacy then walked down the ramp and Taker scared them back up the ramp. After scaring away Legacy, Taker walked back to Orton, who surprised Taker with an RKO on the floor as the ref was at a six count. Orton slid into the ring at nine and Taker made a last-second dive back in the ring, but he fell on the ground. Taker was counted out, giving Orton the win.

Post-match: Legacy tried to jump Taker, but Taker sat up and flung them to the outside. Taker then delivered a chokeslam on Orton and ref Robinson scurried out of the ring. After clearing the ring, Taker simply paced around the ring before his music played. So, now we have Cena vs. Orton once again.

WINNER: Orton via count-out at 3:20. It became obvious how this was going down once Cena won earlier. No way they were going to give away Cena vs. Taker on free TV with no hype. Of course, they had to protect Taker, so they went the cheap route to give Orton his ticket to the tournament finals. Not enough time to develop anything in the match itself. (*)

[Commercial Break. TNA bought air-time for an Impact ad advertising Hulk Hogan returning to wrestling for a three-hour Impact on January 4. It had a completely different marketing vibe than the typical TNA ad.]

Torch reader Andrew Bosak checks in: I predict a Striker-Lawler match somewhere down the line. WWE is certainly building to that with Striker antagonizing Lawler on commentary the past two nights.

On-stage: Dennis Miller said they're two hours into the 17-hour extravaganza. Miller said Vince McMahon will present best guest host. He said McMahon even tried to give him some pointers on how to do his job with the comedy. McMahon then came out and shook hands with Miller as Cole and Lawler chuckled about McMahon telling Miller how to do his job. McMahon said some guest hosts have been better than others. He then cut a promo on the audience. Hit a little too close to home, though, when he asked if they died before they came on the air. No, this isn't a wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony. McMahon, agitated with the lackluster crowd responses tonight, told them to wake up. It would help if the wrestling content was halfway decent and the guest host's material worked in the opening segment. Anyways, McMahon rolled footage on the Best Guest Host nominees: Bob Barker, Seth Green, Shaq, and the Osbournes. Back live, McMahon growled that Bob Barker won. Cue up a pre-taped video of Barker thanking WWE for the award. He thanked everyone for buying his book. He thanked everyone for the great experience. And have a Merry Christmas. "Go for it," he closed. That was random.

McMahon then brought in Miller and asked him to name a guest host. Miller suggested an age-old favorite, Bret Hart. Big name-drop and McMahon just stood there. Lawler: "There's McMahon on the spot." McMahon gave the classic line: "Last time Bret Hart was here, Bret screwed Bret." He said no. Miller asked the crowd if they wanted it and the audience roared. McMahon just walked off without the classic swagger. McMahon's music played as Miller closed that McMahon will be at the Chuckles Club this Friday night. Oh wow, that was great TV. McMahon selling for Hart was classic.

[Q8]

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Miller was on the phone with someone while holding a Slammy trophy. Chris Jericho then barged in and thanked him for showing him respect. He said he knows Miller has authority to cancel the tag title re-match, so he thanks him for not doing so. Miller then cut a promo on Jericho's heel character. Miller said Jericho is an energy blackhole and he sucks the vibe out of the show in favor of his agenda. He said Jericho showing up on Raw is like Kanye West showing up at a Taylor Swift fanclub meeting. Miller effectively lowered the bar in the opening monologue to where everything since then has been gold. Miller told Jericho his agenda has a place anywhere else but on Raw. Jericho said he's going to prove Miller wrong tonight. Jericho walked off, then Miller got back on the phone and said it was Jericho whining again.

In-ring: DX's music hit and Cole said these two guys aren't black holes! They have plenty of energy! Oh, Cole. Out came DX with a lot of gold and merchandise. Four tag belts, a Slammy, and glowsticks. Jericho and Big Show then came out to challenge for the belts. Jericho suddenly had some athletic tape wrapped around his left elbow. The announcers then announced Hornswoggle has booked DX in a mandatory court appearance for next week. If they don't show, there will be serious consequences. Great. There's a new ref in there.

6 -- Unified tag champions DX (TRIPLE H & SHAWN MICHAELS) vs. BIG SHOW & CHRIS JERICHO -- Unified tag title match

The bell sounded and after a brief stare-down period, Hunter shoved down the ref. The ref stood up and surveyed the scene before shouting for a DQ. The audience figured out what was going on as Jericho stood stunned. Michaels sarcastically told Hunter he just cost them the match. Fortunately, the titles don't change hands on a DQ, but he did cost them the match. Hunter sarcastically said he just cost them the match and the winner's prize money. Michaels said there goes Christmas. Hunter said that also was the re-match and Jericho is done with re-matches. Michaels: "Oh man, this has to be horrible to be you." He then told Jericho technically he's not even supposed to be in a Raw ring. Michaels told Hunter that Jericho is trespassing. Hunter said if only there were a group of superstars who hate Jericho as much as they do.

[Q9 -- third hour, second regular hour]

Cue up the DX music to bring out Hurricane, R-Truth, Shelton, Cryme Tyme, Finlay, and Christian in DX Army gear. Best look was Christian sporting a Cowboy hat and DX beanie and pulling it off with style. There was even a DX Snuggie, thanks to Cole referencing it. Jericho yelled at the DX Army, but Michaels blasted him with a superkick to shut up Jericho. The makeshift DX Army then helped escort Jericho up the rampway. Of note, Big Show disappeared after the DQ. Jericho finally left and Michaels and Hunter were left in the ring to declare Jericho is outta here. They cut backstage where Jericho turned over a catering table while the DX Army pushed him down the walkway to the exit door. They pushed him out the door and closed the back door. Jericho pounded on the door, but Christian crotch-chopped the door.

WINNERS: Jericho & Show via DQ at 0:22; DX retains tag titles. Well, there goes Jericho back to Smackdown only it appears. Unless Jericho shows up as the Winnipeg Kid next week and wins a contract over a recently re-hired Wellness Policy violator. Or, he just badgers each week's guest host to get another chance on Raw. Meanwhile, Big Show can disappear for knee recovery ... or feud with Mark Henry.

[Commercial Break]

On-stage: No Dennis Miller this time around. Instead, out came Carlito, Chris Masters, and Eve to present another award. Masters unbuttoned his jacket much to Carlito's chagrin. Now, Masters was ready. Carlito just stared at him and introduced Extreme Moment of the Year. He said this can also be described as an exciting moment. Meanwhile, Masters danced his pecs in the background. Eve cut up with Masters in the background while Carlito tried to talk. Carlito finally had enough and told Masters to stop. Carlito said he can do that too. He then asked Eve if she can do that. Not exactly a PG line. Eve shot back that Carlito will never find out. Fans booed. Carlito's character is apparently showing some guts doing what no one else will do, then being shot down. Eve announced Extreme Winner: Jeff Hardy at Summerslam. Out came Matt Hardy to accept the award. Ya know, because Matt is living off Jeff's legacy. Matt said this is really cool. He said Jeff would have the audience know he is honored to receive the award. Carlito interrupted and asked why he's accepting the award. Matt said it's his brother. Carlito: "My bad. My bad." He stepped back, then gave Hardy a left-hand blow. Carlito accepted the award and thanked himself, Jesus, Team Jacob, and Puerto Rico. Most of all, himself. Masters then put Carlito in the Masterlock before Hardy decked him with a right hand. Striker said this is more like The Source awards. Man, one-liners galore in this one. Carlito was the star playing up his "I don't care persona" even if he gets his comeuppance at the end of every segment he appears in. Cole told us to come back for another trailer for Marine 2. JC's Note: Tons of references to Jeff Hardy tonight.

[Commercial Break]

[Q10]

Announcers: CLS were shown on-screen, then Striker introduced another trailer for Marine 2 starring Ted DiBiase. "With or without you, I'm going in," was DiBiase's character's key line in the trailer. And his other line was "The goal is to save people, not kill them to win."

In-ring: The Miz's music hit to bring out the forgotten U.S. champion. We have a six-man tag match here. Out as his partner was Zack Ryder sans Rosa Mendes. And finally, new IC champion Drew McIntyre. Striker gave a shout-out to Elliot and her mom for calling him out on the mistake he made with the IC Title history last night. Now if only Cole will apologize ... for everything. Out first for the babyfaces were John Morrison, who was not happy. Yoshi Tatsu also joined Morrison. Great collection of ring entrance themes here. Mark Henry then came out sans MVP to round out the field. Lawler had a one-liner that Henry tried Internet dating and they matched him up with Detroit.

7 -- U.S. champion THE MIZ & IC champion DREW MCINTYRE & ZACK RYDER vs. MARK HENRY & JOHN MORRISON & YOSHI TATSU

The heels tried to chase Henry around the ring, but Henry clobbered Miz and brought in Morrison. Miz and Morrison did battle to re-live the good ol' days before McIntyre tagged in and Morrison tackled him hard to the mat. Ryder then tagged in and he demanded a piece of Yoshi, who tagged in. Yoshi and Ryder had a nice exchange leading to a stand-off. Ryder then did "Woo Woo Woo" and Yoshi blasted him with a kick to the face. Yoshi made the cover for the win. That was pretty funny. Striker then nearly lost control of his bowels on commentary watching Yoshi jump up and down celebrating the win post-match. He's so happy it's almost painful.

WINNERS: Team Yoshi at 2:11. At this rate, Cena vs. Orton is going to last 34 seconds. This show has been laugh-out funny for good and bad reasons, absolutely horrible at other times, and a complete trainwreck at other times. Just a weird show. (3/4*)

Backstage: They showed divas walking down the hallway locked hand-in-hand. It's a seven-on-seven divas match followed by the Diva of the Year announcement.

[Commercial Break]

[Q11]

8 -- MICKIE JAMES & KELLY KELLY & GAIL KIM & MARIA & Divas champion MELINA & BELLA TWINS vs. ROSA MENDES & Women's champion MICHELLE MCCOOL & NATALYA & ALICIA FOX & BETH PHOENIX & LAYLA & MARYSE

Fourteen divas assembled in the ring dressed in evening gowns. They couldn't decide who should be Diva of the Year, nor who should start the match. Eventually, Mickie entered the ring and scored a quick pin for the win as her consolation prize after not winning the Women's Title last night.

WINNERS: Team Mickie at 0:48. You knew this one was going short after the pattern on the show and the women dressed in evening gowns. (n/a)

On-stage: Goldust and MVP came out on-stage for their bit part on the show. The divas were still assembled ringside to await the announcement of Diva of the Year. After some build-up and hype, they announced Maria as the winner. She acted stunned and slowly walked onto the stage to deliver a speech. Suddenly, Kanye West...er...Batista showed up wearing a pink polo shirt and giant Aviator shades. He should that he was screwed by Teddy Long last night and he should get the "Screwjob of the Year" award. Some of Corpus Christi's finest then showed up and escorted Batista away. Announcers said Kanye...er...Batista is just embarrassing himself now.

[Commercial Break]

On-stage: Dennis Miller read an elaborate joke about Amy Winehouse before bringing out Abraham Washington, Tony Atlas, and Big Dick Johnson, who danced out in a lime green speedo. Atlas couldn't help himself from laughing up a storm at the trainwreck. Washington tried to start his speech, but Atlas kept laughing. Johnson just kept jiggling. Cue up the "Oh My" award. Johnson then pulled out some reading glasses to speak for the first-time ever. BDJ did a deep announcer voice in Classic English prose to introduce the Oh My moment of the year nominees. Candidates: Chris Masters and his pecs, HBK superkicks the girl in the cafeteria, Vintage Michael Cole at the 10-Year Smackdown anniversary, and Santino Marella's Thanksgiving pie antics. Washington announced the winner: Michael Cole vomits. Cole: "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" He nearly dry-humped Lawler leaving the announce table before doing a victory lap up the entrance ramp onto the stage. He proceeded to dry-hump Johnson before running off Abe and Atlas. Cole gave a shout-out to Jim Ross and said "Slobberknocker and Boomer Sooner" are passe because "Vintage" and "Oh my" are the choice of a new generation. "Hook 'em Horns!" Cole declared. This is officially a thumbs up show now. Crowd agreed with a pop for the UT reference. Striker: "That's going to be blogged about." And we've officially arrived at the ultimate train wreck episode of Raw.

On-stage: Dennis Miller came back to the podium and said he needs to "take his freaking eyes out with a power drill" after seeing Johnson. Miller then ran down the ramp and handed a card to a kid on the front row near the tunnel. Miller tried to get serious with a shout-out for the troops and USA Cares before plugging the main event Superstar of the Year up next.

[Q12]

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: We get another DX plug. Shawn Michaels said he was a procrastinator last year. This year, he's already set up his new Money in the Bank ladder match toy set. Michaels and Hunter talked up the action figure set, then Hunter pretended to accidentally crash the set. Hunter stammered out an apology to calm down Michaels, who looked like a frustrated father on Christmas Day trying to put together the Mouse Trap game. Michaels said he was cold, then Hunter pulled out a new DX Snuggle. No, Hunter, it's a Snuggie. Michaels became warm, then Hunter handed him a cup of hot tea to warm him right up. Hunter then plugged the History of the World Title DVD. Roll footage of Hunter on the DVD against Michaels with Hunter stomping the snot out of Michaels back from their 2002 feud. In came Hornswoggle to give them each a present. Awww. It's a WWE Shop gift card. Hornswoggle showed off his new DX Army t-shirt with Hornswoggle on the shirt. Hunter and Michaels then tried to jump Hornswoggle, who ran away apparently through the Roadrunner black hole. Hunter suddenly realized he was beating up Michaels underneath the Snuggie. Hornswoggle smiled, then laughed as Michaels sold the right hand blows from Hunter. He then ran away, leaving Michaels on the floor. Hornswoggle re-entered and put a Santa hat on Michaels before grunting a Christmas tune. Well, if you were looking for Hunter to land blows on Michaels anytime soon, there you go. Just had to have this skit to complete the train wreck-quality episode of Raw.

Next week's Raw guest host: Johnny Damon from the New York Yankees.

In-ring: Randy Orton came out for the main event to decide nothing tangible other than the possessor of a trophy. Unless Sheamus does a run-in during the main event, this will be one of the most uneventful "first night as champions" for any wrestler in recent memory. Well, other than A.J. Styles's current TNA Title reign.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: John Cena came out for a second time for the main event re-match from seemingly every PPV in 2009 against Orton. The announcers listed the recent series of matches between the two before the bell sounded.

[Q13 -- over-run]

9 -- RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN CENA

The match moved to the floor early on where Orton took advantage before throwing Cena back into the ring to inflict more punishment. Orton proceeded to stomp and kick and punch away on Cena, who sold pain before making a comeback with a bulldog. Cena then went up top and hit the guillotine leg drop for a close two count. Cena tried to collect himself before going after Orton, but Orton caught him with a fallaway backbreaker for a two count. Orton landed a straight right hand, then Cena came back with a small package pin attempt, but Orton popped up and landed a hard clothesline for a two count. Announcers cast doubt over Cena's chances tonight, which means he's winning. Orton continued the beat down before airballing on a high knee drop. Cena then made his full comeback as the crowd popped for his You Can't See Me routine. Cena then tried the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton blocked, and tried the RKO, but Cena countered into an STF attempt. Orton blocked, but Cena countered into an AA for a close two count when Orton grabbed the bottom rope just before three. Orton rolled to the outside to recover, then he caught Cena and implant DDT'ed right off the ring apron face-first into the padding. Orton then rolled Cena's lifeless body back into the ring, but Cena kicked out at two. Orton, now beside himself, did his evil-eyes look as Cena stirred in the corner. Orton saw his chance and backed into the corner for The Punt, but Cena moved and hit the AA this time in center ring. SuperCena then made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Cena at 9:03 to become Superstar of the Year. Darn good main event. Great counters and reversals, but you could see the finish coming a mile away with a "reinvigorated and renewed" Cena being the focal point of the match. (***)

Post-match: Cena celebrated his victory and award-winning night, then Sheamus came out on-stage with the WWE Title belt held high in the air. Cena told Sheamus to come get some, but Sheamus remained on the stage gloating about his possession of the title belt. They closed ten minutes past the top of the year with Sheamus smiling a big smile.

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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