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CALDWELL'S WWE RAW REPORT 11/9: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Ricky Hatton hosting from the U.K.

Nov 9, 2009 - 10:10:04 PM
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WWE Raw Live Report
November 9, 2009
Live from Sheffield, England
Aired taped on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


WWE Raw opened with a video package on the what happened at the end of last week's show. Apparently it's "let's hype Survivor Series" week instead of re-airing the same Raw's Got Talent clips from the Raw Rebound. They focused on DX and John Cena KO'ed by Big Show and Chris Jericho to close the show. ... The current Raw intro aired for the last time. One last time to be loved, roll the dice, and never look back. And all that other funny business.

In-ring: Justin Roberts hyped up pro boxer Ricky Hatton, who came out with the Bella Twins sporting boxing gear. Michael Cole name-dropped recent Raw guest host Floyd Mayweather for calling Hatton one of the toughest fighters in the world. Hatton said he accepted the invite to host Raw in a split-second. He talked about winning the World Title in the same arena three years earlier. Roll footage of Hatton KO'ing Carlos Maussa.

Back to the arena, the crowd politely applauded Hatton. He went on a bit, but then Big Show and Chris Jericho interrupted in corporate suits. Big Show towered over Hatton and said he ate an English breakfast bigger than Hatton. Hatton said he's a big fan of WWE and Big Show. "Who me?" Big Show asked. Hatton said, "Yeah, I absolutely loved it when you got knocked out by one of them boxers." Crowd chanted for Hatton. (I love English football-style crowds.) Big Show said he'll give Hatton one clean shot at him just like he gave Floyd Mayweather. Show stuck his chin out and Hatton said he'll be up for the challenge as soon as he gets a ladder.

Show said he would make this easy. He went down to both knees ala the Mayweather angle. Hatton approached Show for a shot to the chin, but Chris Jericho jumped right in. He said he's not going to let Show get embarrassed against another boxer. Jericho and Show had a brief discussion on the triple threat match against Undertaker at Survivor Series. Jericho said he's going to beat Taker on Smackdown, then beat Big Show at the PPV and become new champion again.

Show told "Napoleen" that his shtick is getting out of control. They stared to have a debate, but Hatton told them to calm down because he's making decisions tonight. Hatton said he wants to see them paired up tonight against DX. Crowd liked that. Jericho smirked and said, "All right, Hat." He said Hatton is just another tapeworm like the "dentally hygienatically-challenged wonkers" in the crowd. Hatton said no one understood a word he just said. Hatton had enough and a brawl nearly broke out, but DX's music hit. Out came Triple H and Shawn Michaels to make the save for Hatton.

Triple H said Jericho and Show just never get it when they continue to interrupt the guest GMs. Hunter reminded Big Show he was punked by Shaq. He reminded Jericho that Bob Barker also punked him. Hunter said Jericho and Show are lucky they came out because Hatton was ten seconds away from KO'ing both of them. Loud "Ricky, Ricky" chant. Hunter shook Hatton's hand, thanked him for the match, and said they'll take care of the Honey Monster and Mr. Bean tonight. Jerry Lawler liked the "Mr. Bean" reference. Shawn Michaels said they should do this right now.

Michaels punched Jericho out of the ring, then Big Show slowly removed his coat and quietly slipped out of the ring. "My time, my time," Show said. Hunter said that's the way it always goes because there is only one DX and there is only one Ricky Hatton. Hatton added that if you're not down with that, they have two words for ya. Crowd filled in the blank, then Hatton did the crotch chop celebration with DX in the ring. Hatton was quite smooth and held his own very well in the segment. Good opening based solely on Hatton's performance. Of course, the segment did nothing to promote Cena vs. Hunter vs. Michaels at the PPV in two weeks.

[Q2]

[Commercial Break]

Video package: They recapped Alicia Fox winning the #1 contender battle royal to earn a future shot against Melina's Divas Title.

In-ring: Kelly Kelly came to the ring with Gail Kim for the opening match as the announcers hyped the Survivor Series-style five-on-five divas match headed up by Michelle McCool and Mickie James. Alicia Fox then came to the ring with Jillian Hall to face Kelly. Looks like a Superstars re-match from two Thursdays ago won by Fox.

1 -- KELLY KELLY (w/Gail Kim) vs. ALICIA FOX (w/Jillian Hall)

Some early trash-talking led to Kelly taking it to Fox. Melina was shown backstage taking a good look at the #1 contender to her title. At the end, Kelly wanted her Fameasser finisher, but Alicia kinda sorta kicked out. Awkward spot that could have used some help in post-production, if possible. Alicia then scored the win moments later and celebrated with Jillian.

WINNER: Alicia Fox in 3:00. Basic divas match. Another example Kelly and Fox aren't exactly the two best workers on the Raw divas roster. (1/2*)

WrestleMania 26 video: They showed fans waiting in line for tickets going on-sale this weekend in Arizona.

Backstage: Ricky Hatton was shown walking around shaking hands with various members of the production staff. Hatton shook hands with John Cena, who wanted to know what's up with him being left off the show. Hatton said he knows Cena has bigger things to worry about with defending his title at the PPV. Cena was like, "all right, cool. Night off." Hatton and Cena shook hands, then parted ways.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3]

Video recap: They reinforced Sheamus giving Jamie Noble a huge beating on last week's Raw. Announcers talked about Jamie Noble contemplating retirement. Nice follow-up to continue building up Sheamus as a monster. Announcers plugged Sheamus being part of Team Miz at Survivor Series.

In-ring: Sheamus came to the ring and said he fulfilled his vow to end Jamie Noble's career last week. Sheamus said he's going to do what Irishmen have always done: go through this Englishman and make him look like a fool.

2 -- SHEAMUS vs. ENGLISHMAN

Sheamus quickly rag-dolled the enhancement talent, who tried to fire off a kick in the corner, but Sheamus ran him over with a sledgehammer blow. Sheamus landed repeated fist smashes to the chest before finishing him off with his uranage backbreaker. Sheamus wasn't done, though, as he landed a bicycle kick. Sheamus then peered around the arena with his sinister eyes before taking the man to the corner for a running Outsider's Edge. Sheamus made the pin - with a forearm to the face for added pain - for the win to put an end to the match. "Domination by Sheamus," Lawler said. Sounds like a cologne product.

WINNER: Sheamus in 2:00. Quick, effective squash to continue enhancing Sheamus in Week 3 on Raw. Good work. (n/a)

Later tonight: Jericho & Big Show vs. DX and Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler plugged the Survivor Series . Cole excitedly said he learned a lot about Ricky Hatton on the website. Good to see Cole puts a lot of effort into his research. Announcers then plugged Hatton's work in his hometown of Hyde creating fitness awareness.

Backstage: Bella Twins talked up Ricky Hatton and asked him what he's been up to. Hatton talked up his projects, then the Twins asked him about his expertise at darts. Before a game of darts could break out, Santino barged in looking for plump in a giant boxing ring robe. Santino said he's Ricky Fatton. Chavo Guerrero then barged in and complained about Santino sucking up to the guest hosts every week. Chavo challenged Hatton to a game of darts and Chavo looked terrible. Hatton interrupted a name-calling challenge between Santino and Chavo to book wrestler vs. boxer tonight. Hatton said it won't be Santino, but him. Crowd popped. "He's ah going to punch you in the face," Santino told Chavo with a smile.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in a very orange-faced The Miz. Spray-tan alert. Miz said he beat John Morrison at the Bragging Rights PPV, and it will happen again when his team beats Team Morrison at Survivor Series. Why? Because he's The Miz, and he's... Swagger interrupted and Miz told him to finish. Swagger said it's obvious Miz is...in awe of Jack Swagger. Miz became bored with Swagger's usual spiel. Swagger told Miz to watch what he does to Evan Bourne tonight. Miz said he already beat Bourne last week. Swagger told Miz to watch his match and learn how to look good. He suggested they'll even make him team captain over Miz. "Really?! Really?" Miz asked. Swagger paused and said, "Really." Paging Amy Poehler and Seth Green.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Evan Bourne came out to a strong reaction and smiled it up for the crowd. Jack Swagger then came out feeling pretty good about himself.

3 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. JACK SWAGGER

Swagger was aggressive early on blasting Bourne around the ring. Bourne plays a good ragdoll babyface ala Rey Mysterio. Swagger followed with a running Vader Bomb out of the corner before doing some Scott Steiner-style push-ups to mock Bourne. Swagger then stretched Bourne on the mat with a knee to the back before tossing Bourne into the corner to wear him down. Swagger tried a running shoulder tackle, but Bourne blocked and landed a splash to the back from the second rope for his first offense of the match. Bourne then kicked Swagger in the knee, but Swagger came back with right hand strikes to the head. Swagger tried to throw Bourne into the air, but Bourne landed knees-first on Swagger's shoulders to take him to the mat. Nice spot.

Suddenly, Miz's music hit and U.S. champ Miz walked out to ringside to take a closer look at the action. Swagger showed off his work to Miz, then Bourne blocked a suplex, landed a kick strike, and went up top. Bourne connected with the Shooting Star Press and yes, Bourne scored the pin on Swagger to end the 2009 winning streak. Of course, announcers talked up Bourne scoring a "huge upset" win. Miz smirked on the outside, then took a mic and bragged to Swagger that's why he's the Team Captain.

WINNER: Bourne in 5:00. Good five-minute match. Swagger had plenty of offense early on to look strong before taking the loss thanks to Miz's outside distraction. WWE really plays up that underdog status for Bourne to the point of annoyance, as if he's not capable of winning a match without help. On the other side of the coin, Miz and Swagger have the start of a decent program, but it's difficult to buy into this turning into anything of substance since WWE doesn't have a track record of establishing important mid-card programs. (*1/2)

Backstage: Mark Henry was shown doing some push-ups against the wall. MVP then walked down the hallway behind him as the announcers plugged a VIP Lounge with MVP, Henry, and special guest Kofi Kingston.

[Commercial Break]

ECW tomorrow night: ECW champ Christian vs. William Regal for the ECW Title. One. Last. Time. Regal with the home field advantage.

Raw recap: Cole and Lawler showed Kyle Busch and Joey Logano on Raw two weeks ago. Cue up highlights from the NASCAR race over the weekend when Busch swept the Texas races in the WWE-themed race car. They showed North Carolina alum Brad Daugherty quoting Ric Flair on ESPN's coverage that to be the man, you have to beat Kyle Busch.

[Q5 -- second hour]

VIP Lounge: Mark Henry, in wrestling gear, and MVP, in street clothes, welcomed us to the VIP Lounge. Henry handled the intro for Kofi Kingston. He smiled and said he's the captain of their Survivor Series. MVP asked everyone to give it up for...Kofi Kingston. Out came Kofi looking sharp in street clothes. MVP and Henry talked up Kofi for taking control of things with Randy Orton, then rolled footage from last week when Kofi took out Orton in a six-man tag match leading to Henry pinned Cody Rhodes to win the match.

Back to the VIP Lounge, MVP popped a bottle of champagne to toast Kofi Kingston for being the captain of their team at Survivor Series. Henry wanted to take a swig of his champagne, but MVP took it from him. Don't drink and wrestle, folks. It's not 1979. Randy Orton's music suddenly interrupted and Orton slowly walked to the ring with Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. Orton came right up to the man in charge of the velvet rope and demanded entrance into the Lounge. Orton didn't even need to say a word, as he let his eyes do his talking. Good piece of advice for you club-hopping readers. Just stare 'em down with the Orton Eyes.

Orton said the three of them are nothing more than low-life street thugs. Orton said Henry stole a victory last week. He said MVP is the definition of a common criminal. Meanwhile, Kofi should be in jail for what he did to his car. Orton said that stock car was custom-made and the only reason why he hasn't pressed charges is because he wants to embarrass Kofi at Survivor Series. Cody addressed Kofi that this isn't very VIP hanging around with a disgruntled wrestler and an ex-con. DiBiase said it's not very VIP with pleather couches and a $50 bottle of champagne. Orton said they were born in this industry while the only place Kofi, Henry, and MVP belong is the hood where they came from. Kofi took exception and stepped to Orton. He slapped him across the face, which drew oohs from the crowd. Orton did his "should I kill him, should I wait, should I keep teasing inner thoughts of confusion and torment?" stance before they suddenly cut to break. Takeaway from this segment: more of WWE irresponsibly simplifying storylines in racial stereotypes. What was that line from Vince McMahon about WWE having "more sophisticated" content than UFC? Geez. This is what happens when you move away from the basic storytelling of "I'm the better wrestler and I'll prove it by beating you on the 13th at 7:00 p.m. at the Armory."

[Commercial Break]

[Q6]

4 -- MARK HENRY (w/Kofi Kingston and MVP) vs. RANDY ORTON (w/Legacy)

Match started in progress with Henry squeezing Orton with a bear hug. Orton then blocked a corner attack and put Henry on the mat to begin the Orton Stomp attack. Henry got a second wind and sent Orton to the corner where he landed successive headbutts that wobbled Orton. MVP told Henry to finish him off, but Orton suddenly struck with the RKO out of nowhere for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Cody and Ted gleefully clapped it up while Kofi paced the sidelines with his hands on his hips. Kofi checked on Henry in the ring, then Orton snuck back into the ring. Orton slapped Kofi, but Kofi punched him right back and Orton rolled to the outside. Legacy held Orton back as Orton went IED wanting another piece of Kofi. Camera with heavy focus on Orton and Kofi, who told Orton to come get a piece of him. Orton just huffed and puffed on the outside.

WINNER: Orton in 5:00. Right finish with Orton winning. Orton has consistently been in PPV main events for five years, so it wouldn't make sense to knock him down a peg if they're going to elevate Kofi in this program. Good focus in the post-match with Kofi and Orton on the back-and-forth camera shots. (*)

Backstage: They showed Chavo Guerrero shadow-boxing in the deep recesses of the arena. There was literally a shadow of Chavo on a garage door wall to simplify the hype.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Chavo Guerrero came to the ring for the boxer vs. wrestler match. Apparently we're not getting any references to the Inoki vs. Ali disaster promoted by Vince McMahon in 1976. Ricky "Hitman" Hatton then came to the ring representing the Manchester football club. Justin Roberts announced this as a "Boxer vs. Wrestler Mixed Martial Arts match." Ref was mic'ed up for the pre-match instructions.

5 -- RICKY HATTON vs. CHAVO GUERRERO

Chavo ducked out of the ring early on to avoid Hatton's punches. Hatton started jabbing Chavo with left hands, but Chavo ducked to the corner. Chavo bailed again to keep stalling in order to drag this out. Chavo went to the legs for a takedown for the "MMA" portion of the match. Chavo declared himself the victor and the announcers said Chavo celebrated pre-maturely. Chavo suddenly busted out a kick strike that gave Chavo a brief upperhand, which shocked the crowd. Chavo went for a waistlock takedown, but Hatton spun out and blasted Chavo across the right temple. Chavo staggered to his feet and sold pain, but collapsed to the mat for a ten count to take the loss. Hatton then celebrated with the fans ringside on the way out.

WINNER: Hatton in 3:00. Chavo played a good heel here. I was shocked Chavo got any offense in here. The crowd was equally shocked. Hatton's punch looked good and sounded good with some post-production sound enhancement. Still, I'm shocked Hatton gave Chavo any offense with WWE having control over how this went down. (n/a)

WWE Shop plug: They aired a video package plugging the "new WWE Shop" on WWE's website. "Grand opening" of the new webstore is obviously WWE's answer to WWE Shop business being waaaay down in the third quarter financials.

[Q7]

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the Survivor Series PPV card.

Backstage: John Cena was talking to Hornswoggle with Hornswoggle running around in circles sporting DX merchandise. Cena, with a sense of knowing this is a completely ridiculous premise for a feud, said DX is going to get him on the copyright issues. Cena sarcastically told Horny to run away because "they're coming, man!" Shawn Michaels and Triple H barged in and said they know Cena's hiding Hornswoggle and his merchandise-stealing. After some low-talking mumbling between them, Triple H said contrary to popular belief, they (Hunter and Shawn) have never Tweeted each other...not that there's anything wrong with that. Hunter said it's obvious one of them (DX) is leaving the PPV with the title. Cena smirked. Michaels wanted to know where Hornswoggle is hiding. Cena called him out and Horny was sporting Cena merchandise. Michaels said something isn't right here. Cena then told Horny to "do the thing, do the thing." Hornswoggle did the You Can't See Me and Cena had some awful high-pitched voice reinforcing it. Michaels offered a parting shot that Cena and Hunter no-sold. Ya know, because Michaels's character as Hunter's runningmate is he's a complete doofus who's been hit too many times in the head. Hunter said something doesn't smell right, and this time it's not Hornswoggle. DX left, then Horny took off his Cena gear to reveal the DX gear. Cena told him he's an idiot, then Hornswoggle started throwing around crotch shots to end the segment. What in the world was this ridiculous segment and what in the world is the issue making people want to buy the PPV for this triple threat match? One of the worst-hyped title matches in recent memory.

ECW plug: They showed William Regal going nuts on ECW TV recently as his desire for the ECW Title has overtaken his sense and sensibility. Regal finally gets his title match on ECW tomorrow night. One. Last. Time.

[Commercial Break]

Raw Rebound: They made the audience re-live Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne hosting Raw last week with the Raw's Got Talent. They've aired the Rebound on ECW, Superstars, Smackdown, and now Raw again. Hey, look, it's Chavo and/or a friend taking a weekly punch/slap to the face.

Raw guest host next week: They officially announced Roddy Piper is hosting Raw next week from Madison Square Garden.

[Q8]

In-ring: John Cena ran to the ring holding the WWE Title belt in-hand. WWE picked up on some of the women in the crowd beside themselves with excitement. Cena sat down with Cole and Lawler for commentary on the main event. Out came Unified tag champs Chris Jericho and Big Show for the main event. Announcers plugged Jericho vs. Taker one-on-one for the first time ever on Smackdown this Friday. DX's theme music hit and they slowly made their way to the ring as the announcers + Cena went silent. Conversation then picked up with Cena saying he's just trying to help out Hornswoggle with his legal issues with DX. Cena got serious and said the question mark for Survivor Series is Shawn Michaels. Will he show up or will he just be Hunter's lackey? Order the PPV now! Will Michaels show up and wrestle or will he suck? So silly.

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

Cena was obviously put on commentary here to do damage control on the three-way title match hype. DX took control in the early going and Hunter knocked Jericho to the outside as they cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Shawn Michaels was taking a beating at the hands of Big Show. Jericho and Show started tagging in working over Michaels as Cole and Cena mixed commentary on his triple threat and the Jericho-Show-Taker triple threat at Survivor Series. Hunter eventually took a tag at 7:00 and worked over Show, but Show back-dropped out of a Pedigree and speared Hunter clear across the ring. Show then went to work on Hunter's mid-section with body blows. Jericho then came in and targeted the stomach as well. Cole and Cena filled time asking if DX will implode at Survivor Series. Cena said there will be an issue where DX has to decide whether to work together or against each other in the name of the WWE Title.

[Q9 -- over-run]

Hunter came back with a spinebuster at 12:00 and Michaels began shouting for a hot tag. Camera kept cutting to a shot of Cena hyping the Survivor Series match and whether DX will focus on Cena to eliminate him. Michaels got his hot tag and cleaned house on Jericho before going up top. Michaels executed the "vintage" elbow drop to the heart on Jericho before starting to tune up the band. Jericho ducked, then teased the Walls of Jericho, but Jericho flipped him away. Show then sandwiched Michaels and Jericho. Michaels stumbled out of the corner and Show went for a Big Punch, but HBK ducked and Jericho ate the punch. Jericho collapsed to the mat like a tree in the woods. Tease of whether Michaels or Hunter will accidentally KO the other to give Cena the win. Also, tease of more dissension between Jericho and Show leading to the PPV. Anyways, Hunter cleared Show out of the ring, then Michaels covered Jericho's lifeless body for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: DX in 13:00. The match came across like a standard house show match. At the end, the heels have egg on their faces and the crowd goes home happy with the babyface team in the winner's circle. Considering these guys are on a two-week tour, there was no incentive to "go all out" for a TV taping in the middle of the tour. Cena did a fine job on commentary doing damage control for the PPV hype. He didn't convince anyone to buy the PPV because no one is buying dissension in DX, but at least he gave viewers something to think about, which is more than WWE has done these three weeks leading to the PPV. (*1/2)

Announcer: Justin Roberts took the mic and announced a triple threat tag match for next week's show. Jericho & Big Show vs. DX vs. Cena and his partner...Roberts's voice trailed off with a question mark on the end of partner. No, it was not Hornswoggle. Cena smirked and the bell tolled for The Undertaker. Crowd popped. Out came Taker on stage. Show stood shocked ringside. Jericho was still lifeless on the ring apron, but managed to sell shock. DX, meanwhile, sat in the ring stunned. Hunter was just a statue. Cena smiled from the announce table and Taker was shown doing his thing on the stage to close the show.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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