United States Champion The Miz def. MVP
Miz was still early into his reign as United States Champion at this point but was quickly finding his footing as a heel on his own. He generated great heat from the fans in attendance and MVP was a fun foil for him. They weren't given a ton of time to work with, but it was a nice little match while it lasted with the right result. Championships have changed hands in Madison Square Garden before, so it's not like the outcome was entirely predictable.
Santino Marella def. Chavo Guerrero
As you would probably expect, this was complete comedy. In fact, it was less of a match and more of a bit with Santino spending the first minute or so trying out different jerseys that appealed to the New York fans. Admittedly, Santino rolling to the other end of the ring whenever Chavo attempted to go for the Frog Splash was pretty funny. Hornswoggle (who feuded with Chavo all summer in 2009) distracted Chavo long enough to allow Santino to pick up the victory.
D-Generation X Attacked Hornswoggle
Triple H and Shawn Michaels were set to challenge John Cena in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series, and although they addressed Cena in this segment, they also teased officially adding Hornswoggle (who had been parading around pretending to be a member of the group for weeks) to DX. Before they did their usual shtick, Triple H laid out Hornswoggle with a Pedigree out of nowhere. I have no clue what the hell they were going for here since all of these guys were babyfaces and DX came across like bullies. The crowd didn't know how to react and I don't blame them.
Divas Champion Melina def. Alicia Fox in a Lumberjill Match
Melina and Fox had been feuding on and off for nearly two months by this point, so I guess this was a fitting way to blow off their rivalry. Unfortunately, it wasn't very good at all. The Lumberjill stipulation barely helped matters and it was just a mess all around. On the bright side, it was short-lived yet still a waste of time. The Divas brawling afterward set the stage for the women's tag team elimination match at Survivor Series.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Challenged Mr. McMahon
I love me some Hot Rod, but this was a total train wreck. Piper rambled on and on for a few minutes before calling out McMahon, and then the two took turns trading shots at each other. It wasn't entertaining and served to set up a match for later in the show that wouldn't even happen. It was cool to see Piper and McMahon make appearances in MSG (the arena they helped make famous for wrestling), but it was all downhill after the entrances.
Sheamus Attacked Jerry "The King" Lawler
Sheamus was fresh off debuting the month prior and had already ended the career of Jamie Noble (in storyline). He was on an absolute tear and I liked how they switched things up by not having him compete but instead having him attack Mark Yeaton (the timekeeper) and Lawler. Both are universally beloved by fans (okay, maybe not so much Yeaton because most fans don't really know who he is), so it was smart for Sheamus to target them and continue his dominant streak.
Jack Swagger def. Evan Bourne
Bourne beat Swagger one week earlier on Raw, so this was Swagger's shot at redemption. These two have always worked well together and make the most of the time of they have, but similar to most of the other matches on this show, this was way too brief. They tried their hardest to get all of their offense in, but it felt rushed and wasn't too memorable. If nothing else, it helped hype one of the men's elimination tag team matches for that Sunday.
Kofi Kingston Attacked Randy Orton
PIper was ready to fight McMahon before Orton interrupted him. There was an amazing botch here where Kingston's music was supposed to stop Orton from punting Piper in the head, but it started too late and Orton had already started running toward Piper, so he had to stop himself and awkwardly look at the camera. Sadly, it has since been cut out of the replay on WWE Network (but it is available on YouTube if you look hard enough). It was hilariously horrible. However, everything after that was tremendous. Kingston had a breakout performance by hitting a Boom Drop on Orton through a production table on one side of the arena. The crowd went nuts for Kingston and this really should have been where he solidified himself as a star. Outside of what happened at Survivor Series, WWE largely failed to follow up on this moment properly (until 2019, that is).
WWE Champion John Cena & The Undertaker def. Unified Tag Team Champions Jeri-Show and D-Generation X in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match (Non-Title)
For a match that had as much star power as it did, this was criminally short. That said, everyone hit their signature spots, it had a big fight feel, and the crowd ate it all up. Plus, it furthered the Undertaker vs. Jeri-Show feud as well as the Cena vs. DX feud. In other words, it was an awesome main event despite how it was only seven or so minutes in length. There was seriously never a dull moment. Undertaker laying out Cena with a Tombstone post-match caused a lot of fans to speculate at the time that a match between them was in the works for WrestleMania 26, but it didn't come to pass until almost a decade later.
Michael Cole talked a lot about how MSG was known for its "Madison Square Garden" moments, but this show was devoid of them until the final half hour. Kingston's attack on Orton and that Triple Threat tag team main event will be forever remembered by fans, but not so much everything else. I say watch those two segments and skip the rest. It's amazing to think it took WWE almost 10 years to get back to MSG for an episode of Raw. Hopefully they can return a lot sooner after this coming week.
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