September 1, 2009
Justin Rozzero

Monday Night Raw 8/31/09
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, MI
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

- We open the show with our animation and then head inside the Joe where Michael Cole welcomes us to Detroit, the home of Wrestlemania XXIII. Cole and Lawler run down some of tonight’s matches before we head to Lillian Garcia. She introduces tonight’s guest home, Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes. He’s just a common man…working hard with his hands! Big Dust struts out to a huge pop from the Detroit fans and the jukes and jives a bit on the ramp. Dusty heads to the ring as Lawler says we are in for a fun night. The Dream is all smiles as he grabs the mic, but the fans won’t let him talk as they overpower him with a “Dusty” chant. Dusty tells us that two years ago, he was inducted into the HOF right here in Detroit. This is a city that never quits and is a blue collar hard working city. He is also proud of his son Cody Rhodes. He knows that he gets a trifling attitude about himself, especially since joining Legacy. There is nothing that a father would not do for a son and he hopes Cody will see the light some day, maybe even tonight. In two weeks, John Cena will be in an I Quit match at Breaking Point. And Cena will challenge his son at that PPV, because Cody will take on Randy Orton for the WWE Title right here tonight. And Dusty will be in Cody’s corner. And Cena will be the guest referee. Well, that draws out the Champ, who most likely will not care for these decrees. Orton saunters to the ring as Dusty eyes him up and down. Randy has a mic and is drawing some nice heat from a rowdy crowd. Orton thinks it is obvious that Dusty is jealous of Randy because his son Cody looks up to Orton more than he has ever looked up to Dusty. Dusty is trying to make up for his shortcomings as a father and win him back by granting a title match. He says it is a shameless and pathetic act and asks Dusty if he thinks Cody will even agree to the match. Dusty thinks Cody is hungrier than Orton and is athletically gifted and Dusty will be there to raise his hand when he wins the belt. Orton says that Dusty is setting himself up for disappointment and Randy wants to know why he shouldn’t kick Dusty in the head like he did two years ago. Before Dusty can answer, Cody’s music hits and he confidently heads to the ring. King wonders if this is the destruction of Legacy. Cody tells Randy that the man in the ring is his father. Dusty’s legacy in the industry runs deeper than either of theirs. Cody says he and Randy are associates and even friends, but he will not pass up this golden opportunity. Just like Randy, Cody intends on becoming the youngest WWE Champion in history. It isn’t personal, it is strictly business. Orton wants to get things straight and he reviews all the stipulations. He thinks the fix is in and Dusty confirms that for him. Orton stares at the Rhodes family and stalks off. Backstage, there is a referee talking to six Divas and running down the rules for the upcoming American Dream Diva battle royal as we go to break. Dusty can still bring the goods, for sure. At least we are getting a fresh main event as well.

1) American Dream Diva Battle Royal
Participants: Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox, Gail Kim, Jillian Hall, Rosa Mendes & Kelly

We are back and it is Diva battle royal time. Kelly and Gail are out together, followed by Beth, Rosa Mendes, Jillian Hall and Alicia. The winner of this will win a shot at Mickie James later tonight. The bell sounds and a brawl breaks out as all the ladies pair off. Rosa gets shoved into Beth and Beth doesn’t take too kindly to that, so she tosses Rosa over the top and to the floor. Alicia hits a nice scissors kick on Kelly but Gail grabs Alicia and eliminates her. Beth tosses Kelly out and she and Gail battle against the ropes. Gail tosses Jillian, but she hangs on to stay alive. Gail out maneuvers her and they both end up back inside. Gail misses a cross body from the middle rope but nails Jillian in the back as she tries a handspring elbow. They battle some more, trading right hands and elimination attempts along the way. Gain skins the cat to hang on and is able to pull Jillian out with a headscissors. Gail turns around and Beth stalks over and kicks her out to win the match and the title shot. Beth outsmarted everyone there as she laid low in the corner and picked her spot. She will take on Mickie James for the Divas Championship later tonight. The match had energy but was sloppy as all hell. Beth Phoenix wins the American Dream Diva Battle Royal; Grade: N/A

- Beth takes off as we check out some replays. He music fades and Chris Jericho’s fires up as he powerwalks to the ring and we go to break.

2) Chris Jericho vs. MVP
When we return, we get some clips from last week when Floyd Mayweather helped MVP and Mark Henry defeat Chris Jericho and Big Show to earn a title match at Breaking Point. The clock ticks and MVP heads out to the ring and man, is this crowd pumped up tonight. Charles Robinson calls for the bell and we are underway as MVP goes behind Jericho and tosses him to the mat. They trade takedowns and switches as the crowd chants for MVP. Jericho takes over and stomps away at MVP, smack talking about last week’s brass knuckles assault. He drops MVP with a back suplex for a near fall. MVP fights up and they trade right hands with MVP winning the duel. He tries for a kneelift, but Jericho blocks it and tries for the Walls, which MVP blocks. MVP drills Jericho with a big boot for two. MVP floats over a charging Jericho and hits a flying clothesline for a near fall. Jericho avoids the Drive By and knocks MVP to the floor with a springboard dropkick. MVP is out on the floor as we head to break. When we return, Jericho has MVP clamped in a modified half nelson. MVP fights free and catches Jericho with a fist to the gut on a second rope axehandle attempt. Jericho recovers and takes MVP down with a facebuster. MVP dodges the Lionsault and drills Jericho with a low dropkick to the head. He drops the Ballin elbow and gets two. Jericho slips out of the Playmaker and takes MVP down. He goes for the Walls but MVP rolls him up for a super close near fall. Jericho pops up and crushes MVP with the Codebreaker for a hard fought win. That was a really good match and a nice win for Jericho. That near fall at the end was great. Jericho d. MVP with the Codebreaker; Grade: 2.5

- Jericho heads off as MVP glares back at him. Backstage, Dusty is checking out the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD case when DX walks in. Triple H does a good Dusty impression. DX warns Dusty about Cody’s relationship with Legacy. Dusty says he has a lot of influence on his son and he will make sure Cody gives one of them a title match after he wins. Hunter and Shawn have a funny little back and forth over who would get the title shot, bickering like a married couple. Shawn gets a funny line about Hunter having enough title matches and Hunter says they shouldn’t argue in front of Dusty, so they will discuss it when they get home. Dusty asks DX if they want to hang with him and watch the WCW DVD and they are all for it. Shawn plugs the WCW DVD until Dusty jumps in and plugs his DVD, followed by Hunter plugging the DX DVD. Shawn asks if they should throw in the WCW DVD, but then wonders if they should watch Raw instead. Hunter says that Dusty is in charge and that he can tell them what is going to happen, so they don’t have to watch. Well, that is an odd message to send to your viewers. Shawn struggles putting the DVD on as we cut over to Hornswoggle, who is walking down the hallway decked out in cowboy gear. Hornswoggle will be taking part in a Texas Bullrope match after this break.

- The Just for Men Rewind takes us back to last week when Chavo got DQ’d in a boxing match against Hornswoggle. Chavo beat Horny down until Evan Bourne came out to make the save and take Chavo out.

3) Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero in a Texas Bullrope match
Back live, Lillian runs down the rules for this match. The winner will be the person to tie his opponent up with a bullrope. Hornswoggle is out first and he is followed by his arch nemesis, as they battle once again. Chavo is wearing a cow suit and doesn’t look very happy about it. Horny laughs at Chavo’s outfit as the referee tells Chavo that Dusty has ordered one more stipulation for him. He heads outside and grabs a cow head. He holds it up and shows it to the crowd before making Chavo put it on. Chavo reluctantly puts it on and the ref hooks the bullrope to both men and calls for the bell. They play tug of war with the bullrope until Horny goes behind and yanks on Chavo’s tail. Horny nails Chavo in the gut with a headbutt and then rides him like a horse. Chavo has had enough and slugs Horny to the mat. He takes off the mask and starts to tie up Horny. The ref yells at him to put the mask on as he heads up top. Just as he steadies himself, Evan Bourne comes out to distract Chavo. Horny yanks Chavo to the mat and then puts the mask back on him backwards. Horny runs around him and ties Chavo’s legs with the bullrope. He grabs his hands and hogties him for the win. Hornswoggle d. Guerrero; Grade: 0

- Horny and Bourne celebrate until Chavo pops up and takes Bourne out. Chavo charges at Horny but Horny ducks and Chavo hits the post. Horny bites his ass and then heads up top. He puts the cow mask on and Bourne assists with a Tadpole Splash. Chavo takes off and Bourne and Horny celebrate as we go to break.

4) Big Show vs. Mark Henry
When we return, the Big Show is making his way out to the ring. Henry is out next and is all smiles, natch. The bell sounds and Show smacks Henry during a staredown. They lock up and Henry shoves Show back a bit. They lock up again and Henry shoves him back again. We get a classic test of strength, which goes to a stalemate for a few moments until Henry starts to win it. Show buries a knee and a pair of headbutts, but they only stagger Henry. Henry drills Show back and sends him to a knee. Show goes for a chop in the corner, but Henry slugs him first. Henry hooks on a tight headlock and Show can’t break it on the first two attempts. Show drops to a knee and then fights to his feet and reaches for the ropes, but Henry stops him. Show finally reaches the ropes and Show lands a cheap shot on the break. Henry whips Show in but Show nails him with a big spear to finally put him down. Show hooks a front facelock and then buries some shoulderblocks in the corner. Henry fires out of the corner and turns Show around. He lands a pair of splashes in the corner and then puts Show down with a body block. Henry drops a big splash and gets a good near fall. Show staggers up but catches Henry with an elbow as he charges in. Show takes the turnbuckle pad off and runs a charging Henry into it, but the ref sees it and calls for the bell. OK, sue me, I enjoyed it. It was a fun power match and they worked it perfectly. Henry d. Show by disqualification; Grade: 2

- Show crushes Henry with a right hand to knock him out cold. King thinks the two matches tonight down bode well for the champs at the PPV. Backstage, DiBiase is checking in with Cody. He will make an impact here tonight. Orton comes in and asks Rhodes if he wants to go through with this. Cody says yes. Orton says whatever happens out there is just business, just as Cody said. Orton and DiBiase walk off and we go to break.

DVD and the Fingerpoke of Doom clip. Dusty says that was the beginning of the fall. Dusty says that DX’s friend Big Sexy was part of that. They tell Dusty that WCW let it happen, not them, and that is why they lost the Monday Night Wars. Dusty says they didn’t lose the Wars and they won from 1996 until 1998. Shawn says they were using old WWE guys and that is why they won. Dusty asks Shawn what years he held the Championship and was on top of the card. Shawn stammers and says 1996 through 1998. Hunter says they made a huge run in the spring of 1998, right after Wrestlemania. Shawn is all fired up about WWF’s resurgence, but Dusty reminds him that he suffered a serious injury around that time. Shawn stammers again and says they can just have a good time reminiscing about the good old days. He storms off and Hunter tells Dusty that it isn’t his fault and Shawn is wound up about not being part of the Attitude Era. Hunter asks whose idea it was to take a no talent like Marc Mero and dress him up like Little Richard. Dusty calmly says it was his idea and they decide to just watch the DVD. Shawn comes storming back in again and says the Attitude Era was his idea and that he was sitting at home while they were rolling in the dough. He leaves again as we go to the ring. These skits have been pretty damn funny.

5) Kofi Kingston vs. Miz vs. Carlito vs. Jack Swagger for the Unites States Championship
Swagger is out first, followed by Carlito, Miz and Kofi. Miz bails to the floor after the bell and is content to watch the action from outside. Kofi attacks and hammers away at Carlito, but Swagger nails him and takes him down with a slam. Swagger gets tossed to the floor and then Miz comes in and knocks Carlito to the floor as well. He hammers away at Kofi but Kofi leapfrogs him and Miz hangs on to the ropes. Carlito charges in, but Kofi leapfrogs him and Miz backdrops him outside. Kofi charges and knocks Miz to the floor with a clothesline. Kofi leaps onto all three with a cross body and we head to break. When we return, Swagger is working on Kofi’s leg as Miz and Carlito are still out on the floor. Swagger hooks a single leg crab until Miz comes in and takes him down with a neckbreaker for two. Miz slugs Kofi down and works Kofi over in the corner. The crowd chants for Kofi as Carlito takes out Miz with a missile dropkick. He hammers on Kofi and Miz as Swagger bails to the floor to recover. Kofi heads up top and he drops onto Miz and Carlito with a cross body. Swagger breaks up the pin and runs Kofi into the corner. Swagger takes out Carlito and drops the Vader Bomb for two. He tries another one on Miz, but Miz gets his knees up. Kofi knocks Miz to the floor and then slams Carlito onto Swagger. He drops the Boomdrop on Carlito and gets two. Miz breaks up the Gutwrench powerbomb attempt and hits the SCF but Carlito breaks up the pin. Carlito takes Miz out with the Backstabber, but Kofi breaks up that pin and he nails Carlito with the TIP for the win. Kofi survives another close call to keep rolling on as champ. That was a really fun match and the crowd is still pretty hot. Kingston d. Miz, Swagger & Carlito when he pins Carlito with the Trouble in Paradise; Grade: 2.5

- We are back and thanking Lynyrd Skynyrd for the Breaking point theme song, Still Unbroken.

6) Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James for the Divas Championship
Back in the ring, Beth is out and ready to cash in on the shot she earned earlier. The Champ and birthday girl is skipping out next as we are set for the next chapter in this long standing rivalry. Mickie gets a quick near fall on Beth and then locks on a headlock. Beth fights her off and then runs her into the turnbuckle with a powerslam. She punches and stomps away at Mickie in the corner until the ref breaks it up. Beth baseball slide dropkicks Mickie into the post and that did not look pretty as the side of Mickie’s head bashed the post. Mickie staggers up but Beth steamrolls her down with a shoulderblock. She pulls Mickie up and drills her with a nasty shoulderbreaker for two. Beth punishes the arm but Mickie fires her way back into things. She fights Beth off with some kicks and nails her with a back elbow. She ducks a Beth clothesline and dropkicks her knee to knock her down. She follows with another low dropkick to the face. Mickie is favoring her left arm but is able to take Beth over with a headscissors takedown. Mickie heads up top but Beth knocks her to the floor. Beth quickly heads out and throws her viciously into the barricade. This is a stiff match as Beth’s stuff is just strong and crisp. Beth tosses Mickie back in and gets two. Beth charges and kicks Mickie in the shoulder. She tries for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but Mickie counters with a DDT and picks up the win. Happy birthday Mickie! That was a nice little match as these two just have great chemistry together. Beth was super stiff and very aggressive throughout and Mickie’s selling was great. Mickie d. Beth with a DDT; Grade: 2

- We head backstage again where Shawn apologizes for getting sensitive before. He is working on things though. Dusty puts over WCW some more, including Flair, War Games and Magnum TA. Hunter says that WCW’s greatest moment isn’t on the DVD…the Shockmaster! Shawn doesn’t know what he is talking about. Hunter says it is the greatest thing ever and he runs down the whole story for him. As he is talking, a deep voice from the abyss calls out Hunter and Shawn’s names, sounding eerily similar to the Shockmaster. Then a huge flash of light goes off and the Shockmaster blasts through the wall, tripping and falling! The voice redoes the whole Shockmaster speech to perfection. The camera pans over and we see Arn Anderson with a mic and a script. He apologizes to Dusty and Shawn says he is glad he didn’t see it originally. DX takes off and Dusty shakes his head, looks at Shockmaster and says “it should have worked!” Shockmaster unmasks and it is Santino! He says he loves the Shockmaster as we head to break.

- We are back and Josh Matthews is with John Cena. Matthews says the WWE Championship’s fate is in Cena’s hands. Cena agrees with that. He doesn’t like Randy Orton and runs down the potential scenario of Cody defeating Orton with his Dad in his corner. This could prove to Cody that he doesn’t need to live in someone’s shadow. This could be the end of Legacy and the embarrassment could send Orton’s career spiraling. If Cena does choose a side, the story is simply, John Cena gives Cody Rhodes the Championship. He can’t do that, if Cody wants it, he needs to go out there and be the better man. If it not Cody’s time, it isn’t his time. If Orton wins, he runs into a brick wall at Breaking Point because Cena will not quit. He guarantees victory at Breaking Point and he will…not…quit. That was a good promo for Cena and he even got the crowd back on his side by the end of it. Back at ringside, Cole and King run down the Breaking Point card for us.

- The bell then sounds and we are ready for our main event. Randy Orton is out first and he wastes no time in walking to the ring. We cut backstage to see Dusty giving Cody a pep talk and then we take our final break. Will Cody be a man and stand to Orton? Or do we get another Fingerpoke of Doom? When we return, we find out that Bob Barker will be hosting Raw next week. Cody and Dusty are out next as we creep towards 11:00. This will either be a short match or Kidman’s stopwatch is broken again. Cena is out next to a split reaction. Now Dusty has the mic and says there is nothing a father wouldn’t do for his son and apologizes to Cena. Orton and Rhodes jump Cena and beat him down. DiBiase joins them and they hammer away at Cena. The DX music hits and they hit the ring and the crowd is going nuts as they take out Legacy. Triple H loads Cody up for a Pedigree but Dusty clubs Hunter with his boot. Rhodes takes out Shawn with Crossrhodes. The crowd is into this big time here, chanting for Cena. But he and DX are out as Legacy and Dusty stand tall in the ring. Dusty hugs Cody, but that allows Randy to leap over and drop Dusty with the RKO. Now Cody is freaking out and screaming at Randy to look at him. The crowd is buzzing big time and screaming for Cody to do something. Cody just drops his head and looks around as the crowd chants his name and we fade out. Cody could have been made into a major star right there, but I understand holding off. Well, this was a pretty damn good show and breaks the streak of mediocre outings for sure. I wish the main event was legit and not a ruse, but what can you do. It still drew damn good heat. When they are done with the Guest Host concept, Dusty needs to be named fill time GM as he is full of golden possibilities. See you next week…I am heading for the pay window!

Final Grade: B

MVP: Dusty Rhodes & DX
Runner Up: The Fans
Non MVP: Chavo Guerrero
Runner Up: Evan Bourne

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