John Cena Attacked WWE Champion Sheamus
Hartford has never been considered a "smarky" city, so it wasn't too shocking that the Connecticut crowd was almost fully behind Cena here. Besides, how could they not be given he asked them if they wanted to see a Tables match for the WWE Championship with him and Sheamus? Speaking of whom, Sheamus also played his role well here, and Cena putting Sheamus through a table set the stage for the main event nicely.
Ted DiBiase def. Evan Bourne
The stipulation was that if either DiBiase or Cody Rhodes lost their respective matches, they would be booted from The Legacy. Tension had been teased within The Legacy before and went nowhere, and this was no different because they both won their matches. This was fine for what it was. By this point, Bourne had been firmly established as an enhancement talent who could do cool flippy moves, so him losing wasn't a surprise.
Cody Rhodes def. Mark Henry
As noted, these back-to-back bouts with The Legacy were pretty pointless since nothing was accomplished. It would be one thing if fans actually thought they would lose to their opponents, but similar to Bourne, Henry was basically a jobber to the stars around this time. If nothing else, this was kept relatively short and sweet. Rhodes won with a DDT finish instead of the usual Cross Rhodes.
Maryse def. Kelly Kelly
Kelly was atrocious in the ring and Maryse wasn't too much better, so the fact this was on the shorter side was for the best. It did give Maryse a momentum boost as she prepared to enter a feud with Melina over the Divas Championship, but interestingly enough, that night during the WWE Superstars taping, Melina suffered an injury in a match with Alicia Fox (I know that because I was there). The next week, a tournament would kick off to determine a new champion, which was won by Maryse.
Unified Tag Team Champion Shawn Michaels Confronted Mr. McMahon
McMahon boldly announced that despite it being rumored, Bret Hart would not be guest hosting Raw the following week, though Michaels obviously changed his mind on that. This was an excellent interaction that reminded fans just how awesome Michaels could be when serious, since he had spent many many months doing the comedy stuff with Triple H as part of DX. Not only that, but this also planted the seeds for Michaels vs. The Undertaker II at WrestleMania 26, so this was a successful segment all around.
Kofi Kingston def. United States Champion The Miz (Non-title); Kingston def. United States Champion The Miz by Disqualification
Because Miz ran his mouth to special guest host Timbaland backstage beforehand, if he was beaten by Kingston here in non-title action, he would earn an immediate United States title match. The first match lasted all of a minute, so it seemed like they were holding back for the rematch. That said, the rematch was more an angle with Orton interfering, costing Kingston the championship and rekindling their rivalry heading into the first Raw of 2010. Orton came across like an outstanding heel with his attack and threw down the gauntlet for one more match with Kingston that next week.
Unified Tag Team Champions D-Generation X def. Chavo Guerrero and Big Show (Non-title)
Jericho and Show filmed a hilarious segment outside the arena where Jericho pleaded Show to take him back as his tag team partner, but Show simply told him it was time to move on. However, Show gave Jericho a ticket to this Raw to sit in the front row, and it was also announced that Jericho and Show would get one more shot at the Unified Tag Team Championship against DX the following week. As for this match, it was total throwaway with Michaels briefly selling for Guerrero before making quick work of him.
John Cena def. WWE Champion Sheamus by Disqualification
It's been eight years since I was at this show and I can still clearly remember being disappointed that this heavily hyped WWE Championship match was happening so close to the end of the episode, meaning everyone in attendance knew it wasn't going to last long. Sure enough, the match went all of two minutes before concluding with a weak disqualification finish. Yes, it kept the feud alive and saw Sheamus stand tall over Cena to end the year, but they could have been far more creative with how the bout itself ended.
This marked my first time at a live episode of Raw, and it doesn't feel like eight years have passed whatsoever. At the time, it was an amazing experience, but watching it back on the WWE Network for the first time since being there reminded me how abysmal of a show this was. All eyes were on that January 4, 2010 episode as WWE prepared to go head-to-head with TNA, so while this edition of Raw wasn't anything special on its own, it did an effective job of getting viewers excited for that premiere episode in the new year.
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