Randy Orton CAlled Out Jesse Ventura
We had a ton of throwaway guest hosts of Raw from 2009 to 2010 and a handful of decent ones, but Ventura was definitely among the best of them. Obviously, the gig came natural to him as a former wrestling personality, but he was so perfect in this segment as he set the stage for the Breakthrough Battle Royal main event, which would feature Superstars who had never before been world champion fighting for a world championship opportunity at TLC. He didn't seem to forget any of his lines and actually cared about what he had to talk about. Meanwhile, Orton attempted to convince Ventura that he deserved a title shot, but Ventura disagreed.
Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler in a Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match
These two went on to have many, many matches in 2010 and 2011, and most of them were enjoyable, but this was a forgettable first face-off from them. They weren't given much time and the crowd didn't care about Ziggler at all (he was largely exclusive to SmackDown at this point), but it did succeed in showcasing Kingston, who was on an absolute roll at the time by becoming the sole survivor at Survivor Series the night prior.
Wade Barrett Interrupted "Mean" Gene Okerlund's Interview with "Cowboy" Bob Orton; John Cena Challenged The Miz
It had been a while since Bob Orton had cut a promo on WWE TV, let alone at a time when everything is so scripted, but he did well with the material he had to work with and Barrett served as a nice foil for him, hyping that Sunday's huge WWE Championship main event between Randy Orton and Cena. Speaking of Cena, he challenged Miz to a match later in the night to ensure Miz didn't cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase before Survivor Series. All in all, this was a solid segment and it was cool that the interview took place at the top of the stage as opposed to in the ring per usual.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Mark HEnry (Non-title)
Perhaps the most notable thing about his match was that Henry came out to his "Sexual Chocolate" theme song, which got a good chuckle out of me. The match itself was exactly what you'd expect with Ziggler doing what he could to get a decent match out of Henry. As Intercontinental Champion, Ziggler shouldn't have been eating defeat when he didn't need to, so I was glad he went over Henry in decisive fashion here.
Randy Orton Confronted Batista
The week prior, Batista lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Chris Jericho in a Steel Cage match and came out on this edition of Raw demanding his rematch. Stephanie McMahon then informed him that wouldn't be possible before announcing a few matches for the night. Batista also challenged Orton to a match on this show once he came out and the two talked about their history in Evolution, essentially putting their program into motion. This segment successfully set the tone for the remainder of the night with so many marquee matches on tap.
William Regal def. Santino Marella to Win the Intercontinental Championship
For months, Marella had a "Honk-a-Meter" going to track his days as Intercontinental Champion, and that came to an abrupt halt on this show. I remember this moment fondly as I was and still am a huge fan of Regal, though I do admit it was a bit of an anticlimactic end to Marella's title reign that had momentum. The match lasted no more than a minute, but it was cool for Regal to pick up his first piece of gold in several years in his native England. You could tell he was happy to have won the belt there during his post-match promo.
Chris Jericho Interrupted World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker
It isn't often that Undertaker cuts extended promos, but his mic work was good here as he hyped up his upcoming World Heavyweight Championship defense at Survivor Series. Of course, it got better once Jericho interrupted him and make a big deal (as he should have) about how they had never faced off or even crossed paths prior to that point. That would set up a one-on-one encounter between them I believe on the following week's episode.
Dolph Ziggler and The Hart Dynasty def. Intercontinental Champion John Morrison and Cryme Tyme
Ziggler and Morrison had been involved in an Intercontinental Championship feud for months, so it made sense for them to further that storyline in a six-man tag team match without making much contact (saving that for their Intercontinental title rematch the next week on SmackDown). Speaking of said rematch, Ziggler winning here was important in giving him a boost of momentum before his shot at the strap. As for this match, it was fun while it lasted.
John Morrison and The Miz def. WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito and Primo (Non-title)
Morrison and Miz were set to do battle days later on the 800th episode of Raw against D-Generation X, so it was wise to protect the duo by having them win on this show. That said, they couldn't have put up against any other tag team? It was completely pointless for them to beat the WWE Tag Team Champions without earning a title shot, making the champs look weak in the process. On the bright side, these teams always worked well together, so this was a quality contest as expected.
John Wayne Yang def. The Brian Kendrick by Disqualification
Kendrick was on a roll prior to Unforgiven, but that was pretty much the peak of his push as a singles competitor. He mostly went on to face enhancement talent for the remainder of the year, including Yang on a number of occasions. The match was fine while it lasted, but it was weird that Kendrick couldn't beat Yang on his own and needed help from Ezekiel Jackson. I guess it was supposed to trigger a feud between the two, but it didn't do anything to boost Kendrick's stock on the brand. On a side note, Yang dressed as John Wayne for the Halloween show, hence the one night name change.
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