January 6, 2010
Matt Peddycord

WWE Raw
January 4, 2010
Dayton, OH
Nutter Center

Oh wow, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase replaces Hulk Hogan in the WWE intro. ‘Do not call’ perhaps?

Bret Hart gets a cool tribute video. Of course the music gets all ominous once we reach the 1997 Survivor Series. That brings us to last week where Shawn Michaels asked Vince McMahon to bring Bret Hart back to the WWE. MAKE THIS RIGHT, VINCE!

Right off the bat, they bring out the guest host Bret Hart. Eww what’s with the music? It’s still the same tune, but faster paced and has some weird guitar licks in it. For you noobs out there, this is Bret’s first Raw appearance since October 27 1997. I wish he had some Bret shades instead of his aviators. I really want some Bret shades. Decent pop for Bret, but not a Canadian pop.

Why now Bret after all these years? Well, to thank the “WWE Universe” for never letting him be forgotten. He recalls winning the first King of the Ring here in the Nutter Center. He gives a nod to Jerry Lawler and reminds everybody that he jumped Bret from behind on that night. BOO JERRY! Bret’s also came back to get something off his chest, so come on out Shawn Michaels. They go eye to eye – as best as Shawn can do anyways. HA! Bret wants a truce. Shawn takes this opportunity to tell Bret that he deserved what he got in Montreal and that he did in fact have a hand in what happened that night. Part of Shawn doesn’t regret a bit of it, but Shawn’s a changed man now. Shawn confesses that he always respected Bret, but he felt Bret never respected him. But when he thinks of Bret Hart, he thinks of WrestleMania 12 and the 60 minute iron (man) match. Bret and Shawn changed the idea of how PPVs could be done. At the same time, Shawn has also been carrying all this hatred around for twelve years. Bret tells Shawn that he wasn’t the easiest to work with back in those days, but WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIEEEEENDS? Bret offers Shawn his hand in friendship and while Shawn hesitates, he shakes Bret’s hand. Shawn starts to walk away and looks down and over at Bret like he’s going to superkick him, but then Shawn walks over and hugs Bret instead. Shawn leaves and Bret asks Vince McMahon to come out and face him. No Vince.

TONIGHT: Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston, WWE Unified Tag Champs DX vs. Jerishow.

WrestleMania XXVI Hall of Fame ad. Anybody know who is going in this year?

Josh Matthews is standing outside Mr. McMahon’s door. Vince walks up to Josh and asks him what he’s doing. He just came back from a meeting. Josh tells him that Bret called Vince out. What you gonna do about it? Vince had no idea. If Bret wants to talk to Vince, he’ll call Bret out later tonight.

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler. Cole announces Melina’s injury and now we have to sit through an eight Divas championship title tournament.

Maryse vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella) – First Round WWE Divas Championship Tournament Match
King – “When I look at these Bella twins, I think ‘way to go, God’." If only there was a way to express the sarcasm in his voice in word form. Brie tosses Maryse around and dropkicks her to the floor. Nikki slams Maryse’s face on the announce table. Back in, a rollup gets two. The twins try a switch, but it’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF MARYSE. Nikki gets a boot in the gut and the FRENCH KISS (leg swing DDT) gets the win. (2:17) Apparently the twins share a brain. ¼*

The Miz stops Maryse at the entrance ramp. He tells Maryse that if she actually wins this tournament, he might call her back. Yeah I mean it’s not like you’re talking to her right now. 2010 and the rest of the decade is all about him. He’s the Miz and he’s awesome. Sign of the night (so far): STOP THE MIZERY. Miz joins Cole and Lawler for commentary.

Carlito vs. Mark Henry vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP
Winner of this fatal four way gets a US title shot. The match started during the break and Carlito is in control until Swagger hits him with a powerslam for two. Mark Henry is down on the floor after eating the ringpost. Not literally, he just went face first into it. Meanwhile, Miz is talking about hanging out with Spencer Pratt. Henry comes back in and tosses MVP to the floor. He picks Carlito up for the World’s Strongest Slam and whips him around into Swagger. When he goes for the slam, Carlito’s attempt at a counter is thwarted with a bearhug. Bad idea jeans. Swagger breaks up the hold, but then he gets stuck in a fireman’s carry. Is that even a hold? MVP big boots Henry and kicks him to the floor. Out goes Carlito. PLAYMAKER by MVP ends Swagger to give him the US title shot. (4:55) Definitely some awkward moments here and there. Yep. ¾*

Jerishow are talking in the back! If they lose tonight, Jericho leaves Raw and heads back to Smackdown. Big Show doesn’t want him to leave. How adorable.

The Marine 2 is on DVD/Blu-Ray! For those of you who just like explosives.

Fozzy’s “Martyr No More” is the theme song for the Royal Rumble this year.

Chris Jericho stops by Bret’s office. Jericho remembers how he perfected the Walls of Jericho on Keith Hart down in the Dungeon. These guys have history! Jericho wants Bret to be his special referee so he can screw Shawn Michaels out of the unified tag belts tonight. Bret doesn’t want any more of these problems. He just wants some peace, Chris! Oh and by the way, Bret says Jericho was the one who screamed louder than anybody else in the Dungeon.

Triple H and Hornswoggle are playing with the new WWE figures from Mattel! HHH says Hornswoggle can play with the toys if they win the match tonight. Whatever. Santino dressed up like Chris Jericho walks over and Hornswoggle beats him up. What a fool proof plan for the match tonight.

WWE Unified Tag Team Champions D-Generation X (w/Hornswoggle) vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show
Since he can’t see over the apron, Hornswoggle hides underneath the ring. DX tries to double suplex Big Show and they wind up taking the suplex. Commercials! Please come back, Rock. We return and HHH is in trouble. He hits the facebuster, but runs into a side slam from the Big Show. Leg drop gets two on Hunter. Cole – “It’s like a big bus falling on you!” Hmm, and yet he still manages to live. Jericho comes in and mocks Hulk Hogan (!) with the cupping of the ear. Rear naked choke wakes up Triple H. He fights out into a AA Spinebuster, but Big Show cuts off the tag. Too bad he misses a pump splash. HOT TAG TO SHAWN! Flying Forearms and Kip Ups won’t take Show down, but a dropkick to the knee will. Shawn knocks Jericho off the apron and heads up top for the Flying Elbow, but Jericho trips him up. Meanwhile, Hornswoggle runs in and jumps on Big Show. Sweet Chin Music? No, CHOKESLAM to Shawn! Cover, 1-2-NO! Lionsault is countered into the WALLS OF-no! Shawn rolls Jericho away. HHH hits the PEDIGREE on Jericho for 1-2-NO! Big Show saves, but takes a PEDIGREE and falls to the floor. Jericho shoves HHH into HBK and schoolboys him for 1-2-NO! CODEBREAKER to Triple H! Both men are down. Slow cover by Jericho gets 1-2-NO! In comes Hornswoggle again. He tunes up the band, but eats a boot from Jericho. Pedigree from HHH is countered into the Walls of Jericho, but HBK is there to hit Jericho with SWEET CHIN MUSIC for the win. (12:00) Good little formula tag with a fun ending. Unless something changes, Jericho’s heading back to Smackdown. **½

Randy Orton shows up at Mr. McMahon’s door. He’s got an offer for Vince – Orton will kick Bret Hart in the skull if Vince places him in the #30 spot in the Royal Rumble. Because of what Randy has done to him and his family in the past, Vince ain’t down with that. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. thank Randy for watching their matches the last two weeks. Tonight, they will be watching Randy Orton’s match and if he loses, he’s out of the Legacy.

Royal Rumble 2010 ad. WHO WILL BE THE ONE?

Mike Tyson is next week’s guest host! OH SNAP. I hope that means there will be tigers!

Flashback to Last Week: Sheamus kicked John Cena’s head off.

Speaking of the WWE champ Sheamus, here he comes. He refuses to give John Cena another rematch at the Royal Rumble because he’s proved he can beat him. Evan Bourne interrupts and says he can beat Sheamus. O RLY? Match is on. If Bourne beats him, Sheamus will give him a WWE title shot at the Royal Rumble.

WWE Champion Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne
He comes pretty close as he hits AIR BOURNE, but Sheamus kicks out at two. Bourne flies into a fallaway slam. Crowd chants for Cena, but the man is at the Fiesta Bowl. Not a Bret fan, ehh John? Bicycle Kick followed by the RUNNING CRUCIFIX BOMB gets the three count. (1:45) They had a chance to make an underdog contender in a rising star and completely failed. We’ll see if there is anything that develops from this or if it’s just another squashing. ½*

Michael Cole – the bearer of bad news tonight – announces the death of ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams.

This week on Smackdown: Rey Mysterio battles Batista for a world title shot at the Royal Rumble.

They replay the Bret Hart tribute video that aired at the beginning of the program.

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston
Rhodes and DiBiase are observing from ringside. Kingston beats Orton out in front of Legacy. Much like Orton treated them, they refuse to help. Kofi backdrops out of the DDT through the ropes as we go to an ad break. That guy at Taco Bell thinks he’s getting an inside deal. Boy is he going to feel stupid when he sees this commercial! When we come back, Orton has the excessive chinlock on Kingston. Orton continues to punish with stomps and a catapult into the bottom rope. Back to the chinlock. Kingston elbows out, but they both crash and burn off crossbody blocks. Kingston mounts a comeback anyways and hits the Boom Drop. Orton rolls out and eats a suicide dive from Kofi. Back in, a Flying Bodypress gets 1-2-NO! RKO is blocked – Kingston hits the SOS for 1-2-NO! TROUBLE IN PARADISE is blocked with forearms. RKO! That gives Randy Orton the win. (10:55) Makes you wonder when they will do the Ted DiBiase face turn in time for WrestleMania. It doesn’t happen here. Good enough, but I’m just not buying into Kofi Kingston. Who is he supposed to be? RVD from Ghana or Jamaica? **¼

Tomorrow night on ECW, former ECW champs CM Punk and Mark Henry do battle! Oh me.

It’s Main Event Interview Time. Vince McMahon tells the world that because of what happened between Bret and Shawn tonight means that all this Montreal Screwjob should go away now. My feelings are mutual. Thanks for being a part of the show, Bret. You don’t need to come out here. Next week, Mike Tyson will be the gue-oh wait, here comes Bret Hart! He takes off his leather jacket like he’s going to beat up Vince. Vince tells Bret that he does still believe that Bret screwed Bret – he never will forget Bret spitting his face, punching him in the face backstage, and he never will forget Bret being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. Now what do you have to say to Vince, Bret? Not trying to provoke him, but Vince just wants to hear “I’m sorry”. The two words Bret is thinking of are definitely different. Actually, Bret just wants closure. At first, Vince really wanted to come out here and kick Bret in the guts. Instead he thinks back to WrestleMania 2 when Bret was in the battle royal with Andre the Giant. Even then, he knew Bret was going to be a main eventer in the future. He confesses that Bret scratched and clawed his way to the top. He knows just how personal Survivor Series 1997 was. Vince wants Bret to know that Stu Hart will be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Vince thanks Bret a whole bunch – including thanking him for being the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Bret’s music plays and Vince raises Bret’s hand to all four side of the ring. Bret poses for the crowd and while he’s caught up in the moment, Vince KICKS HIM IN THE BALLS! Vince leaves Bret laying in the ring and heads to the locker room. Before you know it, Bret’s right back up and looking at Vince with the same expression on his face he’s had the whole night. SELL IT, BRET!

Final Thoughts: You can tell that Raw is starting to get serious again in time for WrestleMania with less ridiculous skits. Only one of them tonight. This is really the only time of year that anybody in WWE tries anyway. As an alternative, they ended the Jerishow/DX feud and possibly even the Kingston/Orton feud as we head into the Royal Rumble. Hopefully that means the Hart Dynasty will be welcomed onto Raw to feud with DX. I’m only hoping that’s the case. On the other hand, they’re focused on building the undercard of the Royal Rumble PPV with mere #1 contenders matches instead of actual feuds, which I never cared for. If you split up your feuds into the title matches, what does that leave for the Rumble match? Anyways, the show had a nice pace as opposed to Impact’s *anything can happen at any second* feel, enough wrestling, and Bret Hart. A safe show, but a step in the right direction for Raw.

Oh, and if I had to compare the two shows from Monday night, think of it as the Bud Light commercial: too light, too heavy. And as Bobby Heenan would say, “you figure it out.”

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