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Ruses WWE Raw Review: 11th January 2010
by David Ruse on 16 January 2010

Regular readers of this column – if there are any out there – may be wondering why it has been posted so late in the week. Well, much to my chagrin, my recording device failed to operate correctly in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when Raw is shown live in the UK, so I had to wait until the Thursday repeat to get my weekly fix of DX, Mark Henry and co.

Sky+ – the efficient but dour name of my videotape-style gadget – can be temperamental but I have no plans to give it up, something that can also be said of Raw. The red brand has its ups and downs but I will never abandon it, especially not now, because it appears to be picking up pace.

While not as electric as last week’s episode – for obvious reasons – this Monday’s offering was still a solid show, with guest host Mike Tyson right at the hub of it. The opening exchanges with the decorated boxer, Sheamus, Randy Orton, John Cena and Kofi Kingston all in the ring kicked things off nicely. Each WWE star was given suitable time to air the views on the title picture and why they should be in it, or in Sheamus’ case, why his potential opponents should not, while Tyson listened attentively and made a triple threat, number-one contender’s match.

Another wrestling site that I browse – not nearly as good as wrestling101 mind you – mocked “Iron” Mike for looking nervous when addressing the WWE universe. True, he sounded timid but isn’t that his greatest charm? Throughout his career, the punch merchant has been all the more absorbing because you know he could shatter your skull in an instant but speaks like a harmless computer nerd. I would not say that to his face, though.

It was good to see WWE once again remembering past fracases – this time the Tyson-Michaels confrontation at Wrestlemania 14 – just not so great to see Chris Jericho back on Raw. I love the guy but he was banished from Monday nights, so why is he back there? Does the brand split mean nothing? Oh no, of course it doesn’t.

The former Y2J was sent royally packing in the end, as during the main-event, Tyson & Jericho v DX bout, the deposed tag team champ was handed a knockout blow – albeit the most poorly staged one I have ever seen – from his supposed partner. However, I think we all know the Canadian will try to worm his way back onto Raw in the coming weeks.

Santino Marella tossed the arrogant Jack Swagger over the top rope in a pre-Rumble exhibit and the Divas Championship tournament continued with Alicia Fox knocking off Kelly Kelly in a fast-paced encounter and Eve beating new Raw recruit Katie Lea Burchill, but the other star attraction was the aforementioned triple threat, which Randy Orton – thanks to Legacy’s aid – prevailed in.

The Viper – who looked incensed with Kingston after the match, for scripted or real reasons I am not sure – should have an intriguing heel-on-heel battle with Sheamus at the Royal Rumble, where undoubtedly the majority of the crowd will be on his side.

Many expect Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes to interject themselves into that contest – possibly costing their leader the title – but whether that does happen, it is just nice to see the duo getting worthwhile TV time again, which they did this week by defeating Mark Henry and Evan Bourne.

MVP is also beginning to get that and – while I stick by the comments I made in another article that I would prefer him to return to being a bad guy – his feud with Miz – cranked up this Monday after an excellent talky bit – has me fascinated. Why not make it a cracker by extending it all the way to Wrestlemania?

The granddaddy of them all was certainly on Shawn Michaels’ mind as once again he challenged Undertaker to a rematch at that sparkling event. The Showstopper wants an answer next week.

Another Wrestlemania fight that looks certain to occur is the one between Vince McMahon – back on his way to fully-fledged heeldom – and Bret Hart. The WWE chairman affirmed that the Hitman would never again set foot in his company. He will of course and their coming-together at the back-end of March should be a fierce spectacle, if not a wrestling masterpiece. No doubt Bret will be back next week in order to start wreaking his revenge.

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