A pale star shines: Raw 11-23-09

A confrontation with Randy Orton gave guest host Jesse Ventura an idea.  Guys like Orton, Triple H and Shawn Michaels have been hogging all the title shots, so he decided to open the floor up to everyone else.  A series of qualifying matches would take place featuring no one but those who had not held the WWE or World Heavyweight championships (ECW title be damned).  Those who win their qualifying matches would go on to a battle royal, with the winner getting his title shot at the Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view.  The battle royal featured Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, both members of Legacy, MVP, Mark Henry and R-Truth vying for the shot.  Oh yeah, and Randy Orton too, since he kept asking, then beat up Primo.  Seriously.  With all that talent, surely an awesome match would be made for the PPV!

No, actually, Sheamus won it.

I suppose, given the possibilities, it was either him or Orton since we had just finished an all-babyface title program at Survivor Series.  But really, Sheamus?  Wouldn’t a better choice be Jack Swagger?  Or even the Miz?  The post-match contract signing didn’t go much better, as John Cena was dynamite on the mic as always, but he questioned Sheamus’s qualifications.  All he’s done on Raw has been beating up on Jerry Lawler and taking out Jamie Noble.  We’re supposed to take him as a viable threat?  If you think Sheamus has a shot at beating John Cena, then I have a lovely bridge you might be interested in buying.

Rest of the show after the jump.

  • Both Smackdown and Raw rosters filled the three hour special (as they often do), but it wasn’t until later that they mentioned the winner of the battle royal go for their own show’s title.  R-Truth was the only Smackdown superstar to make the cut.
  • Kofi took out Dolph Ziggler in his qualifier.  Not much to say about it, really.  Solid match by both.
  • The Miz made a brief appearance, saying that everyone should be thankful for him.  So take that.
  • Shemus continued his streak of beat downs by taking out Finlay.  I’d care more if I didn’t fully expect to never hear of this again.  Finlay goes back to Smackdown and we forget the whole thing.
  • Good lord, Vickie Guerrero is annoying.  She made mention that she is Theodore Long’s professional consultant.  It’s incredible how much she overshadows Eric Escobar.  If they want him to go anywhere, they’re going to need to get him away from Vickie.  It reminds me of Shawn Stasiak when he first debuted as Meat.
  • That’s right.  I made a Meat reference.
  • CM Punk and John Cena had a pretty good match that saw Cena win with the Attitude Adjustment.  It amazes me just how good a heel Punk is (when he was a pretty good face as well), and his promo really got heat from the crowd. 
  • Talk about a whole new low.  A few weeks ago, Jack Swagger was promising to go the rest of the year without being defeated.  Now he’s teaming with Chris Masters and Chavo Guerrero.  That’s the biggest case of ‘Team Isn’t Going to Win This Match’ since the epic pairing of Scotty 2 Hotty and Funaki.  Predictably, they didn’t upset R-Truth, MVP and Mark Henry, but not predictably, Chavo didn’t take the fall.  Well, Masters did, so I guess that’s almost as predictably.
  • You’d think with the storied history of DX and the Hart family, some kind of mention would be made in the match of DX and the Hart Dynasty.  Instead, DX had a comedy bit where they learned they were getting sued by Hornswoggle in ‘Little People’s Court.’  Three midget jokes later, we know that we have to sit through midget court next week.  That’s must-see TV.
  • Had the match been Evan Bourne vs. Primo, we might have seen Bourne make it to the battle royal.  Instead, Randy Orton beat up Primo and took his spot, leaving us with a quick finish and another possibility of Cena vs. Orton.  The crowd was not amused.
  • The Mayflower Melee – the newest reason for the divas to wear seasonal costumes.  Mickie James, Melina and Kelly Kelly defeated Michelle McCool, Layla and Jillian, but the important thing was that the Gobbeldy Gooker attacked Melina after the match.  One head removal later, and it was revealed to be Maryse, who stripped out of the costume.  Best Thanksgiving ever.
  • The Hart Dynasty did not fare well against DX, and were put down soundly.  The bigger story was Chris Jericho’s appearance afterwards, as he announced that at TLC, he and Show would take on DX for the tag team titles in…get this…a TLC match!
  • Batista put the Smackdown roster on notice (wrong show, there), but was interrupted when Kane got all up in his grill.
  • Legacy defeated Cryme Tyme to get into the battle royal.  Ho hum.
  • It is a rule that in Thanksgiving themed episodes, someone must get hit in the face with a pie.  Santino Marella took five – from Gail Kim, Alicia Fox, both Bella Twins, and Eve Torres.  Vickie Guerrero was going to as well, but he accidentally smacked it back into her face.  And the crowd went wild.
  • The battle royal had the guest commentary team of Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon, which was a neat throwback for us nostalgia fiends.  McMahon’s voice came off raspier than it used to be, but he definitely channeled the old spirit he once used.  Ventura was a little weaker, especially with coming up with ‘vintage Jesse’ lines, but it was still quite fun to listen to.

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