TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 10/12: Complete coverage of Nancy O'Dell and Maria Menounos hosting Raw
Oct 12, 2009 - 10:10:53 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
October 12, 2009
Live from Indianapolis, Ind.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
WWE Raw opened with Unified tag champion Chris Jericho standing backstage. A graphic for his name was for the Smackdown brand. He said Bragging Rights will feature a seven-on-seven tag match between Raw and Smackdown's top stars. Jericho said he's been assigned Team Captain for the Smackdown team to destroy the Raw brand. Co-host Nancy O'Dell interrupted wearing a Peyton Manning jersey for the hometown pop. She said with all due respect, they start with Raw with DX, not Jericho. Jericho shrugged her off and asked who she is. She said she's the Raw guest host.
In-ring: On cue, they went to Triple H hitting the ring for DX. He's all by himself this week. And he had the DX book in his back pocket for a subtle plug. Hunter did his usual routine as Jerry Lawler speculated on commentary where Shawn Michaels is. Hunter then brought in the timekeeper to do the HBK routine of running around the ring. He seemed rather frightened being in the spotlight. Hunter said they're going to do things a little differently tonight. He went through the motions of asking Indy if they're ready...no, are you ready? Hunter quickly just blurted out "Shawn Michaels isn't here." He said he was supposed to be out here making Team Raw with Michaels for Bragging Rights, but he just got a call that HBK isn't going to make it tonight. Hunter said he could just make the BR team for Raw, but what kind of friend would that be without calling him on live TV to badger him?
Hunter pulled out his cell phone and dialed HBK's number. He got HBK's ringtone, which was HBK asking the caller to leave a message to his "Sexy Boy" theme song. Pretty funny, but too ridiculous to be real, so that officially made it planned. HBK said his daughter got sick and he had to stay home with her tonight. He just read her a bed-time story. Hunter asked if it was from the new DX book. Michaels said no way, man, no way I would ever...oh wait...yeah, I would definitely read the book to my kids and share stories on her dad acting like an idiot. Hunter said he reads stories to his kids all the time. Hunter and HBK all about being the Team Dads apparently. HBK said good-bye and Hunter started to talk Bragging Rights, but he was interrupted by JeriShow's music.
Jericho and Big Show came to the ring with the tag belts on display to talk up Smackdown. Jericho asked Hunter where his little Philadelphia...er...Pittsburgh Steeler linemen are to have his back. After Jericho stumbled, Hunter talked about the Smackdown brand. He said they have an absolutely spineless GM. And they feature a grumpy little troll that runs his mouth all the time. Yeah, that's you, Jericho, he said. It's also a show that features great, great wrestling ... featuring the Great Khali. He said it's nowhere near in the league of Raw, though. Oh, Hunter, up to his old tricks.
Hunter then pitted Jericho and Show against each other after Jericho said he wants Big Show on Team Smackdown with him at Bragging Rights. Hunter threw in a typical male-and-male joke about a pitcher and catcher for good measure. After Jericho and Show traded blows name-dropping Shaq and Bob Barker that drew oohs from the crowd and giggles from Hunter, Show decided he wanted to change his mind and stay on the Raw brand. Hunter said that's awesome!...but there aren't any spots left for him on the team. Crowd laughed at Show's plight. Hunter said he can earn a spot on the roster, though. Show, who had been cut down in this segment heretofore, said he would do anything, whatever it takes. Hunter said he talked to O'Dell and she booked Show in a qualifying match...and it's against Chris Jericho. Jericho with a great reaction to save this segment. ...And it's now. Hunter smugly smirked and left the ring. Show and Jericho couldn't look at each other after being tricked by Hunter, who used the entire segment to show us he thinks his character is the coolest, smartest, most unflappable man on the planet. Classic Hunter. PYB (3) talk time: 17:30.
1 -- Unified tag champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. Unified tag champion BIG SHOW
Big Show was embarrassed early on by Jericho's subtle heel maneuvering. Jericho then bailed to the outside to play cat and mouse, but Show palmed him by the head back into the ring. Show placed him on the mat gingerly and told Jericho to calm down. Jericho was having none of it and shoved Show in the chest a few times. It had effect, but angered Show, so she shoved Jericho into the corner. Jericho suddenly tried a codebreaker, but Show caught him in mid-air and put him on the top turnbuckle to calm him down. Jericho instead slapped him across the face. Show, angered, smacked the crap out of him to the floor below. Jericho sold a knee injury and Show sold concern over hurting his partner. Ref reached an eight count, then Jericho tried to run back into the ring after obviously trying to fake out Show. Show grabbed him by the feet, though, and threw him back to the floor at nine. Show then re-entered the ring and won via count-out. He just shook his head and walked to the back as Jericho collected himself after being foiled again.
WINNER: Show at 4:35. Unique match. It worked to get Show and Jericho on opposite sides of the Bragging Rights deal. There seemed to be the tease of a Show babyface turn included. (*1/2)
Ringside: WWE showed Cole and Lawler ringside. Lawler sporting a big "Lawler for Mayor" t-shirt. Not very subtle, but effective.
Backstage: Maria Menounos brought in Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes to talk about the beating they took at Hell in a Cell. They said they're recovered. She asked if they both deserve to be part of Team Raw. They both agreed. The over-acting picked up from Cody and Ted as they demanded to know why they wouldn't be on Team Raw based on what Maria told them next. She said they will be in a triple threat match. The winner gets on the team. They wanted to know who their opponent is. "John Cena," Maria said and quickly walked off to leave Ted and Cody with their jaws on the floor and the crowd red-hot back in the arena. Maria was the star of the segment there.
Ringside: They showed Indiana Pacers sitting ringside, including North Carolina alum Tyler Hansbrough. Bruce Mitchell just threw up a little.
In-ring: Justin Roberts announced a Divas Title match. No hype for this. Mickie James came out first. Jillian (without the Hall) was out second. Odd match-up unless I missed something groundbreaking last week. As we saw below, there was a reason for the odd match-up.
2 -- Divas champion MICKIE JAMES vs. JILLIAN
Well, Jillian won the title in a minute and a half. This is quite an interesting development.
Jillian took the mic post-match and thanked everyone for the title. She said the only way she could make this a little better is if she could sing her new favorite song, Paparazzi by Lady GaGa. Nancy O'Dell's music hit to interrupt. She said she called all of the former Raw GMs and made a trade. Wha? Do they have trade power too? So confusing. O'Dell said she acquired a new diva for the Raw brand. Out came Melina for an impromptu title match. Melina apparently complained enough about being on Smackdown that they finally moved her back to Raw.
WINNER: Jillian at 1:27 to capture the Divas Title.
3 -- Divas champion JILLIAN vs. MELINA
Jillian didn't want to give up the title belt after clutching it for a few precious minutes. Melina ducked a clothesline and hit a leg sweep for a two count only. She then nailed her modified Canadian Destroyer finisher and scored the quick pinfall to become the new Divas champion.
WINNER: Melina at 0:27 to capture the Divas Title. Well, that's about as close to the definition of a transitional champion as you can get. Interesting to see what the story is with Mickie, whose title reign was cut short very quickly. (n/a)
Announcers: They came back from break to announce that Snoop Dogg is hosting Raw next week.
Backstage: Triple H was talking to a cut-out of Shawn Michaels about the Bragging Rights team thus far. He said it's him, HBK, Big Show, the winner of Cena-Cody-Ted, and some other guys who win qualifying matches. HBK was on the phone in the middle of this, then HBK's music hit and Hornswoggle barged in wearing all of Michaels's gear and doing his pose. Hunter did a spit-take and shouted at Hornswoggle that he's gimmick infringing. Michaels was in the other room, but apparently put the TV on Raw to freak out at Horny wearing his gimmick. Horny then superkicked the life-size cut-out and stomped on HBK. Hunter tried to make the save rolling around on the ground, but Horny ran away and crotch-chopped Hunter.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked about full details of the divas trade being available on WWE's website after the show.
Backstage: Santino was talking to Nancy and Maria. He auditioned for a male hosting job on Access Hollywood. They liked his audition, then Beth Phoenix barged in and demanded to know why she was traded to Smackdown. Goodie, Natalya and Beth on the same show now. Beth flipped out on Maria, then Santino barged in to defend her. Hey, look, it's Beth and Santino interacting again. Paging Santina. Santino then booked Maria against Beth for tonight. Repeat of Santino booking Cedric the Entertainer when he sold not wanting to get in the ring. Maria sold concern over getting in the ring, but Santino assured her it would be fine.
Video package: They aired a lengthy video on the John Cena vs. Randy Orton feud leading to their Iron Man title match at Bragging Rights.
WrestleMania video: They ran an awesome WrestleMania video package from the last two years in Orlando and Houston. It was a promo for WrestleMania 26 in Phoenix next year with tickets on-sale next month.
In-ring: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase came out together despite being against each other tonight. After a pause, John Cena's music hit to a big Midwest audience reaction. Cena smiled to the crowd as Cole said next week's Raw could be his final Raw ever. Good, subtle plug for next week and establishing the importance of the BR PPV title match.
[Q5 -- second hour]
4 -- JOHN CENA vs. TED DIBIASE, JR. vs. CODY RHODES -- Bragging Rights qualifying match
Announcers drew attention to Cody and Ted having a chance to soften up Cena for Randy Orton in two weeks. After a brief stand-off between all three, Cena went after both members of Legacy until they quieted him in the corner. Cena then ducked a double clothesline and dropped DiBiase with a sidewalk slam mid-ring. He then dumped Cody to the outside. Cena tried the FU on DiBiase, but DiBiase raked his eyes and Legacy hit a high-low double-team combo to knock down Cena. Legacy worked over Cena, then they cut to a break with DiBiase dumping Cena to the floor and standing tall. My Side Note: the problem with this match is there not being anything on the line at Bragging Rights for Cody and Ted. Sure, they'll be rubbing elbows with the big boys, but the whole concept of "brand supremacy" isn't focused on by WWE the other eleven months during the year, nor will it determine anything tangible in value. So, why would Cody and Ted have any incentive to fight for a spot when their loyalty is to Orton and themselves, not to the Raw brand?
We came from break with Cole telling us the action was out of control during the break. They showed clips of ringside brawling, then went back live where DiBiase prevented Cody from scoring a pin. First sign of dissension in this match. They had a very nice spot to get the crowd involved where Cena thwarted DiBiase's threat, but didn't see Cody's threat coming leading to Cody nailing a neckbreaker to quiet the crowd and begin working over Cena. Legacy then tried a double suplex on Cena, but Cena blocked and suplexed both men. Lawler with a SuperCena reference on commentary. Cena then made his full comeback and put DiBiase in position for the STF center ring. DiBiase nearly tapped, but Randy Orton slithered in and out of the ring to distract Cena. Cody then snuck up behind DiBiase and rolled him up with a small package to win the match.
Post-match: Orton had to keep Cody and Ted away from each other while Cena was all-smiles leaving the ring. Things were about to explode, but Nancy O'Dell appeared on the videotron to settle them down. She said since it's obvious Cody and Ted aren't getting along right now, let's see how they really get along in a tag match later tonight. How about Cody & Ted against Orton...and John Cena. Cena went from all-smiles to his look of concern. Meanwhile, Orton tried to calm Ted and Cody down.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes at 13:20 to earn a slot at Bragging Rights. Good made-for-TV match to see how the combustible elements would play out in the ring. Seeds are definitely being planted for Cody to come out of this Legacy grouping as a strong heel with DiBiase a sympathetic babyface just in time to promote his movie at the end of the year. (**1/2)
Smackdown plug: Batista vs. Rey Mysterio in a four-way World Title match preview at the PPV.
Ringside: Members of the undefeated Indianapolis Colts were shown ringside. Pacers and Colts in the same building. Is that a first to have two local teams shown on the same show?
In-ring: Jack Swagger came out for a qualifying match for Bragging Rights. Cole reminded us Swagger vowed to not lose a match the rest of the year. MVP then came out to face Swagger, reminding us of their program that fizzled a few months ago without proper TV attention and focus and nurturing.
5 -- JACK SWAGGER vs. MVP -- Bragging Rights qualifying match
Bell sounded and Cole reminded us of the bulletpoints from two months ago: different upbringings, MVP made mistakes and atoned for his sins, etc. WWE had an easy element to put in play of Miami (MVP) defeating Oklahoma (Swagger) in college football nine days ago, but that didn't make air. Basic opening to the match with each man exchanging control. Swagger tried a running move off the ropes, but MVP overhead tossed him and began working over Swagger. MVP then nailed his Ballin' elbow drop for a two count. Shortly thereafter, Swagger avenged OU's loss by scoring a pinfall on MVP.
WINNER: Swagger at 2:32. What a shock, another short mid-card Raw match. Match was just there. (1/2*)
Post-match: Announcers showed a graphic for Show, Hunter, Michaels, Cody, and Swagger on Team Raw. Two more men to be added.
Backstage: Cody and Ted were yelling at each other. DiBiase's veins were about to explode out of his neck. Orton interrupted and told them he's not going to let Nancy O'Dell tell them what to do. He said he's going to turn this into a handicap match and not tag in. He told them to make sure they take care of Cena. Cody and Ted still weren't on the same page, but Orton told them to think things over. Good follow-up segment to continue investing TV time in Cody and Ted.
In-ring: They immediately went back to the ring for Kofi Kingston to hit the ring. No real attention to him losing the U.S. Title belt last week or wanting his belt back. Announcers were just saying how nice it was for him to hold the belt for a period of time, as if he his character didn't have any intentions of getting the title back. Evan Bourne then came out to face Kofi in another qualifying match. Match up next.
6 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- Bragging Rights qualifying match
Match was in progress during the break. Match almost ended during the break, according to the announcers. Wouldn't have been the least bit surprising to see 0:00 of a Raw mid-card match. Cole said the seventh and final spot on the Raw roster will be determined on Superstars this week: Chris Masters vs. Mark Henry. Where's The Miz in this process? Anyways, Bourne blocked an aerial attack from Kofi with an aerial attack of his own. Bourne sat down on a half-Boston crab, then the action picked up with a trade of close nearfalls. Bourne then knocked down Kofi to the corner and wanted the Shooting Star Press, but Kofi got up to block. Kofi then countered a mid-air spin kick with the Trouble in Paradise kick for the pin and the win. Kofi celebrated as if he won back his U.S. Title. They included a replay of the highspots to reinforce the match, unlike Swagger vs. MVP, which had no replay.
WINNER: Kofi at 2:48 of what aired. Okay match. Crowd is being conditioned to sit there and wait for the finish with these mid-card Raw matches since WWE doesn't give them focus or attention or nurturing week after week after week. Bourne is Mr. Teflon right now taking regular losses, but not in a way where he's getting enough offense to at least give the audience a tease that he's on the verge of being pushed like a major star. (*1/4)
Team Raw: Show, Hunter, Michaels, Cody, Swagger, Kofi, and member #7 between Mark Henry and Chris Masters on Superstars.
Backstage: Hunter was still on the phone with the cardboard cut-out of Shawn Michaels. Nancy and Maria then walked in for Hunter to plug his book again. Michaels added another plug via the phone. Maria said she's not 100 percent ready to wrestle tonight. Hunter asked if the training wasn't enough. She said all he showed her were a few kicks a 15-minute head scissors. Oh, Hunter. Chavo Guerrero then barged in complaining about Hornswoggle. Hunter said he doesn't like Horny; he's lucky he isn't suing him for gimmick infringement. Chavo didn't buy it, then complained about not being involved in the Bragging Rights process. He asked why Hunter is the Team Captain. He said he's better than Kofi, Cody, and all of them put together. Hunter paused, then turned to Maria, who landed one of the kicks Hunter taught her. Chavo sold epic pain and collapsed to the ground. Hunter and the hosts walked off while Cardboard Michaels did his token line if you're not down with that.
ECW tomorrow night: Yoshi & ECW champion Christian vs. William Regal & Zack Ryder. Good incorporation of some young talent in the ECW main event scene.
In-ring: Beth Phoenix was in the ring with Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes for a six-diva tag match. Kelly Kelly came out with Gail Kim for the babyface trio. Maria Menounos then came out with Nancy O'Dell to round out the field. ... Random video clip: WWE played a clip from a movie coming out this fall before the opening bell for the six-diva tag match.
7 -- KELLY KELLY & GAIL KIM & MARIA MENOUNOS (w/Nancy O'Dell) vs. BETH PHOENIX & ROSA MENDES & ALICIA FOX
Kelly scored the pinfall for her team. Post-match, Team Maria celebrated in the ring with Beth Phoenix looking pretty upset on the outside with her team losing. We've seen that reaction so many times on Raw the past few years.
WINNERS: Team Maria at 2:30. Match outcome didn't really matter, as WWE got their clip for Access Hollywood and other entertainment outlets. WWE protected Maria in the six-diva format so she didn't have to do much to help her team "win." (n/a)
Video package: They showed a highlight video on The Miz winning the U.S. Title from Kofi Kingston last week. ... In-ring: Justin Roberts announced the new U.S. champion, The Miz. Miz came out on stage sporting a prep boy fall season outfit. Miz demanded respect from the unappreciative crowd. Miz said he's been informed he will be facing the IC champ from Smackdown at the Bragging Rights PPV. That's right, it's former partner vs. partner between Miz and Morrison. Miz then cut a promo on Morrison and reminded us he's The Miz and he's Awesome.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler broke down the current PPV line-up. ... In-ring: WWE champion Randy Orton slowly came out first for the TV main event tag match. Someone needs to put a clock on Orton and Undertaker for slowest ring entrance.
ECW plug: A second ECW TV plug for tomorrow night's show. Can anyone stop William Regal's plans for total domination?!?!?!?!
In-ring: Legacy's music was playing out of the break as the announcers plugged the Smackdown vs. Raw video game. One more plug for Snoop Dogg hosting Raw next week. Orton took the mic and said he just got off the phone with Snoop Dogg. I wonder how that conversation went. He reminded Dogg that next week could be Cena's final night on Raw. Orton announced Cena in one of the "biggest matches of his career" next week. He didn't finish the plug, then John Cena slowly walked out for the tag match main event. Cole said they'll find out Cena's opponent immediately following the main event.
[Q9 -- over-run]
8 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON & JOHN CENA vs. TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES
The bell sounded as Orton bailed to the floor to watch Cena start the match by himself. Cody and Ted couldn't decide who should start, then DiBiase drew the shortest straw to start. Legacy worked over Cena early on as Orton pondered things from the ring apron just watching and plotting. Cena broke free of Cody, then Orton lost track of things for a second allowing Cena to make a blind-tag to Orton. Orton slowly walked into the ring after realizing his mistake. They locked up and Cody tried to pin Orton with a surprise pin attempt that drew hearty laughter from Cena on the floor. DiBiase then tagged in and nearly scored a pin. Orton then walked over to Cena and slap-tagged him back into the match. Cena and Orton grunted at each other and teased going after each other before Cena went after DiBiase. Cena did his usual routine and dropped the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Orton had blind-tagged into the match. Orton then blasted his tag partner, Cena, but DiBiase suddenly snuck up behind Orton and small package pinned Orton for the win. Cody was confused. Orton was livid. Orton then walked into Cena, who gave him an FU in center ring. Cole: "A terrible night for the WWE champion, Randy Orton." Cena pounded his chest in the corner and celebrated in the ring to close the show.
WINNERS: DiBiase & Rhodes at 6:10. Trouble is a-brewing in Legacy. Good use of the combustible elements throughout the show to plant seeds for future storyline developments. Match premise was weak and Orton looked weak, as usual, but the focus is at least on developing DiBiase and Rhodes right now. (*1/4)
Post-match: Cole announced that Cena's opponent next week has been made ... it's Triple H. It's only fitting this show would close with "the biggest match ever" in Cena's career featuring Triple H. The graphic showed on the video screen and Cena went from confident to his "concerned, thinking about what to do, should I even life live even more?" facial expression to close the show.
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