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Ruse’s WWE Raw Review – 7th December 2009
by David Ruse on 9 December 2009

TLC’s WWE title match has just been cranked up a notch. While previous episodes of Raw have seen Sheamus look like just another opponent for John Cena, this Monday night in Dallas, the Celtic Warrior portrayed himself as a serious challenger.

Well-constructed video packages of the Irishman’s barbaric exploits were shown throughout the evening and when it came to the final confrontation between the ginger-haired philistine and the champion whose title he is chasing, Sheamus did not disappoint.

Raw’s newest recruit backed up his powerful diatribe with a full-blown physical tirade on Cena – an earlier victor over the lesser-spotted Carlito – and guest host Mark Cuban, revealing to the world that his massive push may have been a very shrewd move. Sheamus may not win the title this Sunday but he has proved that he deserves to be taken seriously.

Before being smashed through a table, the aforementioned Cuban played a large part in Raw’s proceedings. The American entrepreneur was probably the best non-wrestling host that Vince McMahon has drafted in and looked at ease during the night.

Whether announcing that Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton would settle their rivalry at TLC, chairing the Cena/Sheamus segment or banning Legacy from the building, he added to the show where so many guest general managers detract from it.

Cuban served as the special referee in the match between Orton and Kingston and his quick three count against the Viper – payback for a beating at the 2003 Survivor Series – levelled the standings between the Legend Killer and his vibrant Ghanaian adversary. The duo’s bout this weekend should be a cracker.

Orton’s cohorts, Legacy – ejected from the arena before their leader’s tussle – were also in action defeating the patched-up pair of Evan Bourne and Primo in pretty easy fashion.

The divas followed with Maryse beating Gail Kim in a largely-forgettable match. The aftermath was slightly more riveting, however, as the buxom blonde attacked guest ring announcer Kelly Kelly, before being chased off by the foxy-looking divas champion Melina. I spy a title match in the near future.

Raw’s mid-card was represented by a US Championship match between Mark Henry and The Miz, which the latter won by reversing a World’s Strongest Slam, and a mishmash of a mixed tag team bout that pitted Eve and Hornswoggle against Jillian and Chavo Guerrero.

After Eve – looking radiant in purple – finished off Jillian, she got in the way of Chavo’s attempts to batter Hornswoggle, only to be saved by pec-dancing extraordinaire Chris Masters. Is a storyline coming the muscleman’s way?

DX – who were earlier involved in yet another skit with their leprechaun follower – took on Chris Jericho in a handicap match but the odds were quickly evened as the Big Show made his gargantuan presence felt. The glow-stick-wielding veterans ended the night crushed underneath a ladder with Jerishow gaining the upper hand prior to their TLC encounter on Sunday. Any match featuring Shawn Michaels and Jericho has the potential to be stunning and with the Game and Show in there to, it should an intriguing coming together.

But the most fascinating aspect of TLC could well be the fate of Sheamus. Title winner or not, he could seal his place as a permanent member of the main-event elite – a group crying out for fresh blood.

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