TV REVIEW: WWE Raw - October 12th, 2009

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Indianapolis, Indiana

Triple H begins a recruitment drive for a team of Raw Superstars to take on Team Smackdown at Bragging Rights, the Divas Championship changes hands twice, and some woman called Nancy takes to the stage as tonight's guest host.

Chris Jericho - Team Leader

This week's Raw opens up with Unified Tag Team Champion, Chris Jericho, announcing that he is to be the leader of Team Smackdown in the epic tag match at Bragging Rights.

Before he can go much further, Jericho is interrupted by this week's guest host, Nancy O'Dell. The Access Hollywood host announces that tonight's show isn't supposed to start with him, but rather with D-Generation-X.

Triple H stirs the pot

As per Nancy O'Dell's instructions, DX are out next. At least, one half of them are; Shawn Michaels is absent, leaving Triple H to fly solo.

Hunter calls up his old buddy on the telephone, though not without some apparent difficulty.

"You'll have to bear with me, I'm not the most technically savvy guy," says The Game, because apparently you have to be technically savvy to be able to work your own mobile phone.

Hilariously, Triple H gets through to HBK's answering machine, which plays a recording of Shawn singing to his theme tune.

Shawn explains that his daughter got sick and thus he had to stay home. She's OK though, and HBK explains that he read his daughter a story, providing the perfect opportunity to plug the new DX book.

Getting back to the point in hand, Triple H attempts to discuss Bragging Rights, only to be interrupted by Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & The Big Show.

Jericho, as excellent as he always is on the microphone, declares that even though his partner is a Raw Superstar, he wants Big Show on Team Smackdown. Bemused, and looking to have a little fun, Triple H stirs the pot, asking Big Show whether he always does what Jericho tells him to do. Stirring the tensions further, Triple H teases Show and Jericho into an argument of sorts which leads to the World's Largest Athlete deciding he'd rather be on Team Raw.

In a further twist, Triple H announces that Big Show is welcome to join the team, but only if he beats Chris Jericho in a match!

Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Big Show vs. Chris Jericho

Though this won't go down as masterpiece of technical wrestling, it's nonetheless a very fun match with an interesting story told well.

With his Napoleon Complex coming to the fore, the cocky Chris Jericho does his best to try the patience of Big Show, who implores his partner not to take things so seriously.

Ignoring such advice, Jericho continues to bite at the heels of the World's Largest Athlete, only to get his backside handed to him in response. Jericho is sent to the outside thanks to a huge chop from his partner, and appears to have injured his knee. In a touching moment, Big Show heads to the outside to check on his friend, but makes it back into the ring before the count of ten, thus winning the bout.
Your Winner via Countout: Big Show (qualifies for Team Raw at Bragging Rights)

Backstage, some girl called Maria (apparently a friend/colleague of tonight's host, Nancy O'Dell, or something) interviews Legacy.

Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase claim that despite still feeling the effects of their Hell in a Cell loss to DX, they're here to compete tonight.

Maria announces that Triple H, in charge of the recruitment drive for Bragging Rights, has set up a qualifying match for Team Raw; Ted Dibiase will face Cody Rhodes and John Cena in a triple threat match. If Rhodes makes the pin, he's on the team, if Dibiase makes the pin, he's on the team, if Cena wins, neither of them are on the team.

Needless to say, the Legacy boys are none too pleased.

WWE Divas Championship: Mickie James defends against Jillian Hall

Mickie James takes it to her opponent in an aggressive contest, yet less than ninety seconds in, the challenger upsets the champion thanks to a powerbomb in the corner and a ropes-assisted pin. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Divas Champion.
Your Winner and new Divas Champion: Jillian Hall

In the post-match, an ecstatic Jillian Hall celebrates with a song, only to be interrupted by Nancy O'Dell. Tonight's guest host announces that she's been in touch with the other General Managers to arrange a tri-branded Divas trade. The good news for Jillian is that she's still on Raw, the bad news is that she now has to defend her newly-won title against Raw's newest Diva, right now.

WWE Divas Championship: Jillian Hall defends against Melina

In what is quite possibly the worst thirty seconds of wrestling ever committed to camera, Melina botches her way to a short destruction of her opponent to capture the Divas title. Make no mistake about it, Jillian was quite brilliant in her role here. Everything else, however, was awful.
Your Winner and new Divas Champion: Melina

Before we go any further, it's worth mentioning that next week's guest host will be none other than Snoop Dog. This, of course, gives Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler the excuse to say 'Fo 'Shizzle' a lot in the most cringe-worthy fashion imaginable.


Heading into the DX dressing room (which looks for all the world like a shop-front for DX merch), Triple H appears to be talking to a cardboard cut out of HBK, only to reveal that he's actually speaking to the man himself on the telephone. From out of nowhere, Michaels' music strikes, and out comes Horsnwoggle dressed as The Heartbreak Kid, long wig and all.

Comically, Triple H tells the leprechaun off for gimmick infringement, causing Hornswoggle to attack the cardboard cut-out of HBK. Triple H tackles him, but with a swift DX chop, the little buggar is gone. Whilst this writer has never been a fan of Hornswoggle, it has to be said that this was undoubtedly his funniest performance.

Beth gets angry

With the Hornswoggle segment out of the way, we next get the obligatory Santino shot, as the Italian himself is backstage with Nancy and Maria. Beth Phoenix arrives on the scene, unhappy about being traded to Smackdown. The Glamazon threatens to beat up Nancy unless she gets traded back to Raw. Maria gets involved, and she gets threatened too.

Opening his big mouth, Santino comes up with the great idea that Maria and Beth should meet in the ring tonight. Beth shoves him out the way and storms off, leaving Santino to get the last word in: "Just so you know, Beth, every time we were intimate, I faked every organism!"

Give that man a medal.

Bragging Rights Qualifiying Triple Threat Match: Ted Dibiase vs. Cody Rhodes vs. John Cena

Outnumbering their opponent, Legacy take it to Cena with a brutal beat down for the better part of ten minutes before Cena begins his inevitable comeback.

Yet there's a twist in the tale of this fairly average bout as Randy Orton runs to the ring to distract his longstanding rival. Unfortunately, Orton also manages to distract Ted Dibiase, allowing Cody Rhodes to sneak up behind his partner and roll him up for the pin fall.
Your Winner: Cody Rhodes (qualifies for Team Raw at Bragging Rights)

Naturally upset at the loss, Dibiase argues with his partner as Randy Orton does his best to keep the peace. This brings Nancy O'Dell onto the screen with another announcement. Since Legacy don't seem to be getting along, she says they can team up to take on two other men who don't get along in a tag team match. Yep, tonight's main event is going to be Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes vs. John Cena and WWE Champion, Randy Orton.

Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Jack Swagger vs. MVP

In a short and sweet little encounter, Jack Swagger battles MVP for a spot on Team Raw at the Bragging Rights pay per view. Despite his best efforts, Montel Vontavious Porter succumbs to the All-American American in just over two and half minutes as Swagger goes over with a gutwrench powerbomb.
Your Winner: Jack Swagger (qualifies for Team Raw at Bragging Rights)

Tension in the ranks

Backstage, Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes argue some more, accusing one another of planning to pin Randy Orton in their upcoming match. Orton refutes such claims by declaring that he doesn't plan on tagging into the match, thus turning it into a makeshift handicap match. Curiously, Orton tells his boys that if they are thinking of pinning him, then they'd better keep on thinking. Now that made sense.

Bragging Rights Qualifying Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Evan Bourne

Despite loosing the United States Championship recently, Kofi Kingston looks to be in good spirits as he enters into a very entertaining match against Evan Bourne.

The two highflyers go at it in a short, non-stop match packed with plenty of action with both men trading the advantage until Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise for the three count.
Your Winner: Kofi Kingston (qualifies for Team Raw at Bragging Rights)

Backstage, Triple H is on the phone to Shawn Michaels again when Nancy O'Dell and her pal Maria turn up to talk about Maria getting in the ring. Ms. Menounos confesses that although it's been her dream to compete for the WWE, she isn't sure she's ready.

"But don't you remember everything I taught you?" asks Hunter?
"You only showed me how to do two kicks and how to put you in a head scissors for fifteen minutes," she replies, eliciting a small laugh from the crowd.

Further interruptions come from none other than Chavo Guerrero. He wants to know what's going on between DX and Hornswoggle, and believes they're conspiring against him. Furthermore, Guerrero is annoyed that he isn't on team Raw and believes that he should be, and I quote "the stupid captain of the team".

Maria kicks him the goolies, and if you're not down with that, says the cardboard cut out of Shawn Michaels, we got two words for ya.

Six Diva Tag Match: Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendez & Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos (with Nancy O'Dell)

Things kick off with Gail Kim taking it to Alicia Fox before tagging into Maria. Despite only being taught a kick and a headscissors, Menounos seems to know enough to pull off an irish whip, snapmare and even a quick pin attempt on Fox, before the latter gains the advantage and tags in Beth Phoenix.

Maria gets the better of the Glamazon and tags out, leaving the ring open for a pretty entertaining contest between the ladies, which finally comes to an end when Kelly Kelly gets a win over Rosa thanks to a legdrop.
Your Winners: Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos

The Miz speaks

After antagonising the crowd for a while, the new United States Champion makes a big announcement. In two weeks time, at Bragging Rights, he'll be taking on John Morrison.

Now that should be awesome.

Miz reminds everyone how great he and Morrison were together even though, according to Miz, he was the talent and Morrison was 'nothing more than a hairdo with abs', because he's The Miz and, yes ladies and gentlemen, he is awesome.

Main Event: WWE Champion Randy Orton and John Cena vs. Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes

Before we get on with the action, Randy Orton lets it be known that he just got off the phone with next week's guest host, Snoop Dog. According to Orton, Mr. Dog has decided that John Cena will compete in one of the biggest matches of his career next week on Raw. Apparently, we don't get to find out what that match is until later on.

With all four men in the ring, Randy Orton drops to the floor, making it abundantly clear that he has no intention of tagging in. Left to fend for himself, Cena locks up with Dibiase for the start of yet another beat down.

After several minutes of non-descript action, Cena makes a brief comeback and tags in an unsuspecting Randy Orton.

With Cena now dropping to the floor, Orton is forced to go at it against Cody Rhodes, before Ted Dibiase tags himself and surprises the champion with a succession of pin attempts. Things get a little more entertaining from there, as Cena tags back in against Dibiase, Orton beats down Cena and, eventually, Dibiase rolls up Orton for the one, two and three.
Your Winners: Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes

As John Cena nails Randy Orton with an Attitude Adjuster in the post-match, we're told that he'll face Triple H next week. Michael Cole makes out that it will definitely, no doubt about it, be John Cena's last match on Raw, even though we're yet to reach Bragging rights.

Final Thoughts: 

Since the introduction of the guest-host gimmick, and even for some time before that, WWE Raw has often been accused of doing very little to generate much interest in upcoming pay per views. Tonight's show was different, and thanks in no small part to the number of qualifying matches on the show, went a long way to making Bragging Rights a show many, this writer included, would want to watch.

What's more, the growing tensions between Legacy and Randy Orton, not to mention the appearance of Nancy O'Dell (I've got to admit, I'd never heard of her before tonight, but now I think I'm officially in love) made this a good show, even if it did lack much in the way of great in-ring action.

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