TV REVIEW: WWE Raw - October 19th, 2009

WWE Raw Logo
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida

Snoop Dog hosts the final Raw before Bragging Rights as Team Raw fall into disarray, Legacy fall apart and Triple H falls to John Cena in what might just be Cena's last night on WWE Raw. 

Dissension in the ranks. 

Snoop Dog rolls rides into town in a pink limo with Raw's newest Divas, Eve and The Bella Twins, in tow. After working up the crowd and announcing a couple of tonight's matches (as well as Cena/Triple H, we also get Orton/Dibiase and HBK/Jericho), tonight's guest host introduces your regular opening act, D-Generation-X.

Forgoing their usual 'Are you ready?' routine, Hunter and Shawn begin the final push towards Bragging Rights by taking a look at their opponents on Team Smackdown and mocking them one by one in a routine which only really becomes funny by the time they get to newcomers Drew McIntyre and Eric Escobar.

With the opposing team verbally dissected, the rest of Team Raw make their way to ringside and almost immediately start to argue amongst themselves; Cody Rhodes threatens to defeat Team Smackdown all by himself, Big Show threatens Cody, Mark Henry faces up to Show and Jack Swagger chimes in as well until Kofi Kingston, now completely devoid of his Jamaican accent, reminds everyone that they need to work together.

DX agree, though admit that they did see this coming and thus set up a test; a five-on-five tag team match in which, should any member of Team Raw eat the pin, they'll be replaced. MVP's music hits, he leads the Raw Job Squad to ringside, and Team Raw breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Five-on-five tag match: Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Big Show, Jack Swagger & Kofi Kingston vs. MVP, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Evan Bourne and Primo Colon 

Following a match so short and forgettable your reporter couldn't remember who was on MVP's team, Cody Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes on Primo only for Jack Swagger to tag himself in and take the pin.
Your Winners: Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Big Show, Jack Swagger & Kofi Kingston 

Rather than being united in victory, the win only seems to divide Team Raw further, as they spend the next few moments taking turns in throwing each other out of the ring.

If I were you... 

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviews Ted Dibiase about his victory over Randy Orton the previous week. Dibiase tells Matthews that he only did what Randy Orton himself would have done in the same situation. Orton, however, disagrees. "If I were you, I would listen carefully," he says, before telling Ted not to fight back when they compete next.

Non-title match: WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Ted Dibiase 

Less of an actual match, more of a well played-out angle, no matter what you call it this is fantastic stuff. With anger rising within, Ted Dibiase looks tormented and conflicted as he stands face-to-face with the Legacy leader, doing his best to show restraint as Orton continues to push and provoke him. Finally, Dibiase stands up for himself and pushes the WWE Champion to the mat. Yet this doesn't seem to go far in resolving his torment, as the former tag team champion simply stares and seethes even more, only for Orton to attack with the RKO and pick up the win.

A brilliant segment in which the crowds really got behind Ted Dibiase; surely a turn to the side of the good guys can't be far off?
Your Winner: Randy Orton 

A Tribute to Captain Lou 

Legendary WWE Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano sadly passed away last week aged 76. Known for his interesting attire, which often consisted of a rubber band hanging from his cheek, his famed talent as a ringside manager and, of course, for playing such a major part in the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection of the late 1980s which helped catapult the then-WWF into the global household name that it is day, Captain Lou was a truly beloved superstar. Taking a moment to remember him, WWE plays us a fitting tribute video.

The Obligatory Comedy Spot 

You know how, every week, we get three obligatory comedy spots with the guest host? Well thankfully, the 'E decide to spare us, and squash all three into one.

Cameras find Snoop Dog chilling out backstage with Eve and The Bella Twins when Hornswoggle, back in his usual garb yet still sporting a DX shirt, shows up for no real reason. Naturally, wherever Hornswoggle goes, Chavo goes too. Guerrero complains about being constantly overlooked by the guest hosts, only to be interrupted by Jillian Hall, who demands a rematch for the Divas Championship before singing a song (assume it's one of Snoop Dog's. You'll have to forgive me, I might actually know who this week's guest host is, but I still don't know his work at all).

Finally, it wouldn't be the Raw comedy moment without Santino Marella, dressed as Charlie 'the' Brown. Santino declares that he wants to make amends for the last time the two met. Snoop Dog sends them all out, and we're lead to believe that he's lighting up some marijuana as a 'technical difficulties' graphic featuring Michael Cole with his arm around Hornswoggle appears on screen. Of course, this being a family-friendly show and all, it's revealed he was actually lighting some scented candles.

Returning back to the arena, Michael Cole sits with his arm around Jerry Lawler and an enormous grin on his mush. "We're actually live now," he laughs, "no more technical difficulties". Because apparently, Michael Cole can't tell the difference between the man he announces Raw with every week, and a leprechaun.

Triple H vs. John Cena 

In what is build as potentially his last match ever on Raw, John Cena displays a valiant effort in a lengthy, dramatic bout with Triple H.

Building up slowly and working towards an exciting finale, both men work hard to deliver a very good television match which, to drag up an old cliché, has the fans on the edge of their seats as Cena and Hunter both kick out of one another's finishing manoeuvres. Unfortunately for the number one contender to the WWE title, the third pedigree proves to be too much, and Triple H walks away with the win.
Your Winner: Triple H 

Up next, The Miz heads out to face some jobber who doesn't even get his name announced. Luckily for the Jobber with No Name, he's saved from a beat down by something altogether wonderful.

Marty Jannetty Returns

Just typing that line above made this reporter very happy indeed. Before The Miz can lock up with his hapless opponent, Snoop Dog appears on screen, flanked by Eve and The Bellas, who pout and pose as Mr. Dog announces that he was unhappy with comments The Miz made about Marty Jannetty on Smackdown. As such, Miz will now face Jannetty in a match.

Non-title match: United States Champion The Miz vs. Marty Jannetty 

Though an enjoyable, basic little bout in its own right, this short affair is made all the more brilliant just for the sheer joy of seeing Marty Jannetty, even if he does appear to have aged pretty badly recently. Jannetty gets in some offence against the champion, including his trademark Flying Fist Drop, before The Miz finally puts the old-timer out of his misery thanks to the Skull Crushing Finale.
Your Winner: The Miz 

Backstage, Chavo Guerrero has words with Jillian as the show heads to commercial.

Divas Championship match: Melina defends against Jillian (with Chavo Guerrero in her corner) 

Melina defends her title in a short nothing match which serves no other purpose than to set up the next angle. The two girls battle for about a minute, with Chavo Guerrero running interference on the challenger's behalf until Hornswoggle, dressed in hip-hop attire, cuts him off, allowing Melina to take the win.
Your Winner and still Divas Champion: Melina 

Afterwards, Chavo goes after Hornswoggle, only to be stopped in his tracks by Snoop Dog. The two circle, looking for a fight, and Snoop takes down Chavo with a spear before celebrating with Hornswoggle and several divas in a dance routine that goes on far too long.

Next Week's Guest Hosts 

Are two NASCAR racers called Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Again, never heard of 'em.

Main Event: Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels 

All night long, fans have been anticipating another sure-fire classic between The Heartbreak Kid and The Artist Formerly Known as Y2J. Instead, what we get is an all out war between Team Raw and Team Smackdown.
With both men in the ring, Jericho dishes out some verbal abuse to Michaels before the rest of the Smackdown camp arrive on the scene and outnumber The Showstopper. Luckily for Shawn, back up isn't far behind as Team Raw head to ringside to level the playing field.

Triple H derides Jericho before a familiar cry of "excuse me!" interrupts proceedings. Yes folks it's Vickie Guerrero, who announces that as the official consultant to Team Smackdown, she won't allow anything to happen until Sunday, and that her boys will take their leave.

Hunter, however, has other ideas, and after declaring that the Raw boys don't work for Vickie, they lay into Jericho and his men as Raw closes with a wild brawl between the two teams.
No Contest 

Final Thoughts: 

Though Smackdown still remains far ahead of it's Monday night counterpart in terms of action and entertainment, Raw finally seems to be catching up, and tonight fought back with a very entertaining show. HHH and Cena delivered in the ring, the Cena/Dibiase showdown was intense and as for the appearance of Marty Jannetty, well, that just made me smile. There is little doubt in this writer's mind that Smackdown will counter with a show that is at least equally entertaining on Friday, but even if they don't, the winner in a war over the most entertaining show will pale in comparison to what is likely to be a very enjoyable battle for brand supremacy this Sunday at Bragging Rights.

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