One night after Survivor Series, the 861st edition of WWE Monday Night RAW was a 3-Hour RAW Thanksgiving Special and it came to you, live, from the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. Jesse "The Governor" Ventura would serve as Guest Host. RAW & SmackDown Superstars would in addition to the premiere of the trailer for "The Marine 2", starring Ted DiBiase, on DVD December 29.
- Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Kofi Kingston (RAW) def. Dolph Ziggler (SmackDown) by pin following Trouble In Paradise.
Guest Host Jesse Ventura announced a series of matches to determine the #1 Contender for either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title. The qualifying matches would feature wrestlers who have never been WWE or World Heavyweight Champion and the winners of the qualifying matches would meet in the Breakthrough Battle Royal to determine the #1 Contender. If a RAW Superstar won the Battle Royal, then that Superstar would challenge for the WWE Championship at WWE TLC in three weeks and if a SmackDown Superstar would win, they would challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE TLC.
- Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Sheamus (RAW) def. Finlay (SmackDown) by pin following the Celtic Crucifix Bomb.
- Non-Title: WWE Champion John Cena (RAW) def. CM Punk (SmackDown) by pin following the Attitude Adjustment from the second rope.
- Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: 6-Man Tag: R-Truth (SmackDown) & The World’s Strongest Tag Team (RAW) def. Chavo Guerrero (RAW), Chris Masters (RAW), & Jack Swagger (RAW) by R-Truth pinning Chris Masters following the Lie Detector.
- Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Randy Orton def. Evan Bourne by pin following the RKO.
The match was scheduled to be Primo Vs. Evan Bourne, but Orton took Primo out of the match during Primo’s entrance. Guest Host Jesse Ventura then allowed Orton to enter the qualifying match despite it being for wrestlers who have never been WWE or World Heavyweight Champion.
- Mayflower Melee: Divas Champion Melina (RAW), Mickie James (SmackDown), & Kelly Kelly (RAW) def. Women’s Champion Michelle McCool (SmackDown), Layla (SmackDown), & Jillian (RAW) by Melina rolling up Jillian.
- D-Generation X (RAW) def. The Hart Dynasty (SmackDown) by Triple H pinning Tyson Kidd following the Pedigree.
- Final Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match: Legacy (RAW) def. Cryme Tyme (SmackDown) by Ted DiBiase pinning Shad following Dream Street.
- Breakthrough Battle Royal: Sheamus def. Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Legacy, MVP, & R-Truth to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Title at WWE TLC.
Order of Elimination: Sheamus elim. R-Truth, Sheamus elim. MVP, Mark Henry elim. Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase), Sheamus elim. Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston elim. Randy Orton, & Sheamus elim. Kofi Kingston
- John Cena Vs. CM Punk
- Breakthrough Battle Royal
- Kofi Kingston Vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Sheamus Vs. Finlay
- Randy Orton Vs. Evan Bourne
- D-Generation X Vs. The Hart Dynasty
- Legacy Vs. Cryme Tyme
- 6-Man Tag
- Mayflower Melee
On a night where RAW & SmackDown Superstars would converge to express what they are thankful for this holiday season, the three-hour RAW kicked off with a Superstar who has not had a lot to be thankful for lately, Randy Orton. After the introduction of Guest Host Jesse Ventura, Orton opted to come to the ring before Ventura got the chance! “The Viper” states that he does not care about the “routine” of having the Guest Host open RAW before revealing that Jesse Ventura intends to make a “major announcement” regarding the WWE Championship! Orton states that he remembers what his father, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, said about Jesse Ventura; that Jesse is a “radical” and is not afraid to “break the rules”. Orton then invites the Guest Host to “prove it” to him by lifting the “ban” that prevents him from challenging John Cena for the WWE Title; what Orton called doing the “right thing”! As Orton requested, “The Governer” came out and tells Orton that he “respects” him and that Orton reminds Ventura of himself when he was a “little bit younger”. The Guest Host then declared that he is the “Governer of revolution” before denying Randy Orton his request to lift the “ban”! “The Governer” stated that the same guys are always getting the title shots week in and week out and that those same guys will not be getting a title shot this time around! Ventura then announced that there will be a series of matches, featuring Superstars from RAW as well as SmackDown, with the winners of these matches advancing to a “Breakthrough Battle Royal” where the winners will compete to crown the new #1 Contender for either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title, depending on which brand they belong to! The Guest Host then revealed that the qualifying matches will feature Superstars who have never been WWE or World Heavyweight Champion! Upon hearing this news, Orton told Ventura that he was making a “big mistake”, but Ventura was undaunted by Orton and proclaimed that what he says, goes! As if the Breakthrough Battle Royal announcement was not enough, “The Governer” announced that RAW will feature many “firsts”, including the first ever one-on-one meeting between WWE Champion John Cena and former World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, as well as the first ever match pitting D-Generation X against The Hart Dynasty! With the new #1 Contender to be a Superstar who has never won the WWE or World Heavyweight Title, who will compete in the qualifying matches? Who will ultimately win the Breakthrough Battle Royal to face either John Cena or The Undertaker for their respective gold at the inaugral WWE TLC event?
Before leaving, Guest Host Jesse Ventura announced that the first Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match would open the show! With that announcement, Kofi Kingston made his way to the ring and passed bitter rival, Randy Orton, on the way! For the first time ever, Kofi would go one-on-one with Dolph Ziggler from SmackDown and Kofi was able to outmaneuver Ziggler to hit Trouble in Paradise to secure his spot in the Breakthrough Battle Royal for a potential shot at his first World Title!
After their initial confrontation in the 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match the night before, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus went one-on-one with “The Fighting Irishman” Finlay in a Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match! Seeking revenge for his quick elimination from the match at Survivor Series, the elder Irishman took it to Sheamus early on, but in the end it was a vicious crucifix powerbomb that won the match for Sheamus to advance him to the Breakthrough Battle Royal!
However, winning the match was apparently not enough for Sheamus as “The Celtic Warrior” pulled Finlay out of the ring after the match was over and sent him into the barricade before delivering a vicious kick to the skull of “The Fighting Irishman” that sent Finlay over the wall and into the crowd! After retiring Jamie Noble, assaulting Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler, and now attacking Finlay, who will Sheaamus target next on his path of destruction?
Before he went one-on-one for the first time ever with WWE Champion John Cena in a match he requested, “The Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk discussed his thoughts on Thanksgiving. Punk stated that he is “thankful to be straightedge”, saying that being straightedge makes him “better” than everyone. Punk then accuses the crowd of being “gluttonous” at Thanksgiving, saying he does not “abuse” his body. Punk then calls Cena a “turkey” and proclaiming that, with his “sober eyes”, he “can see” Cena!
For the first time in their careers, WWE Champion John Cena went one-on-one with “The Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk and, after an impressive match between these two main event Superstars, it was Cena who used an Attitude Adjustment off of the second turnbuckle that finally put Punk down for the three count!
Backstage, “The Governer” Jesse Ventura is confronted by WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon! The Guest Host tells The Chairman that he remembers Vince McMahon, Sr. and that Vince, Sr. did not “believe” in his son and that is why a young Vince McMahon, Jr. was made an announcer! With that, Ventura announced that, since he is in charge of RAW for the night, that he is going to reunite the Vince McMahon/Jesse Ventura announce team for one night only! Ventura then presented an apprehensive Mr. McMahon with the old school tuxedo and bow tie that Mr. McMahon wore nearly twenty years ago!
In the third Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match, SmackDown Superstar R-Truth teamed with RAW Superstars MVP & Mark Henry to defeat the team of Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, & Jack Swagger in a 6-Man Tag Match to allow all three of them to qualify for the Breakthrough Battle Royal!
Backstage, DX discuss what went down at Survivor Series with Shawn Michaels giving the credible answer to why he hit his friend and partner with Sweet Chin Music by saying that the match was for the WWE Championship. After smoothing things over with one another, DX were confronted by a “little lawyer”, who presented the legendary team with a legal document stating that they were being sued by Hornswoggle and that they must appear in “little people court” next week!
It was announced on RAW that, on next week’s show, Verne Troyer will serve as the Guest Host of RAW! What will the former “Mini-Me” have in store for RAW in his hometown of Baltimore?
The next Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match was set to take place with Primo going one-on-one with Evan Bourne, but Primo was attacked by Randy Orton during his entrance and, like Kofi Kingston was several weeks ago, was thrown off of the ramp with his head hitting the steel stage before landing on the cold concrete! Orton then entered the ring and pressured the referee to start the match! Guest Host Jesse Ventura appeared and told Orton that “persistance pays off” before allowing Orton to face Bourne in the Qualifying Match!
Though Evan Bourne put up an impressive fight against Randy Orton, “The Viper” utilized the RKO to pick up the win and qualify for the Breakthrough Battle Royal! Will his questionable means lead to Orton getting another shot at the WWE Title?
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, six RAW & SmackDown Divas competed in a “Mayflower Melee” with Divas Champion Melina, Mickie James, & Kelly Kelly dressed up as Native Americans to face the Pilgrim team of Women’s Champion Michelle McCool, Layla, & Jillian! The legendary Gobbledy Gooker even made a special appearance to serve as the Guest Timekeeper!
The Mayflower Melee ended with Michelle McCool & Layla abandoning Jillian which led to Melina rolling up “The Sour Songstress” to pick up the win for her team! However, the big story came after the match was over; as the Divas Champion was being interviewed, The Gobbledy Gooker entered the ring and, behind Melina, revealed to actually be Maryse! The former Divas Champion then blasted Melina from behind with the head of the Gooker, leaving Melina laid out in the ring! Out of action since July, Maryse has returned and targeted reigning Divas Champion Melina. How will Melina respond to this vicious surprise attack?
Back on the same page following their “issues” at Survivor Series, D-Generation X was in action, picking up the win in their first ever match with The Hart Dynasty. After the match, the DX celebration was cut short by one-half of the WWE Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho! Jericho revealed that he and Big Show will be defending the WWE Unified Tag Team Titles against D-Generation X at WWE TLC! Apparently one step ahead of Jericho, Shawn Michaels informed Jericho that their title match will be contested as a TLC Match! The Unified Tag Champion told DX that they have never held the tag team titles together and, as long as he has any say in it, they never will! With tables, ladders, and chairs all at their disposal, which team will ascend a ladder to grab the gold and walk out as the WWE Unified Tag Team Champions? Will DX be able to end the nearly five month reign of Jeri-Show in Shawn Michaels’ hometown of San Antonio or will Jeri-Show triumph in their toughtest title defense to date?
Following his heinous assault of Rey Mysterio at Survivor Series, Batista made an appearance on RAW and stated that Rey would not be at RAW because he will be “spending Thanksgiving in a hospital”. The remorseless Batista then claimed that Mysterio did it to himself when he “chose to embarrass” Batista and so Batista “chose” to assault Rey at Survivor Series. “The Animal” then declares he is putting everyone “on notice” by saying that he will take out the SmackDown Superstar that wins the Breakthrough Battle Royal because he will face The Undertaker for the title! This brings out Kane, who asks Batista what constitutes “embarassing” or “disrespecting” him. “The Big Red Machine” then “begs” Batista to “make an example” out of him! Faced with having to contend with Kane, “The Animal” opted to back away from “The Big Red Machine” and leave the ring!
Despite avoiding Kane on RAW, Batista will face “The Big Red Machine” on SmackDown as the two big men go one-on-one this Friday night! Who will prevail in this battle of SmackDown titans?
In the final Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifying Match, Legacy was able to defeat Cryme Tyme to join Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, R-Truth, MVP, Mark Henry, & their mentor, Randy Orton, to qualify for the Breakthrough Battle Royal!
Then it was time for all eight Superstars to square off in the Breakthrough Battle Royal to determine the #1 Contender for the WWE Title or World Heavyweight Title. Before the Battle Royal, Guest Host Jesse Ventura took his spot at the announce table and introduced a tuxedo and bow tie-clad Mr. McMahon, who joined his old announcing partner as they called the Breakthrough Battle Royal!
The 8-Man Breakthrough Battle Royal got underway and the hopes of R-Truth were the first to be dashed as the lone SmackDown Superstar was eliminated from the match by Sheamus! “The Celtic Warrior” kept on rolling in the contest as he eliminated MVP. After his partner’s elimination, Mark Henry was able to simultaneously eliminate both members of Legacy before being eliminated by Sheamus! Kofi Kingston then once again got the better of Randy Orton by eliminating “The Viper” from title contention! Sheamus quickly took advantage of a distracted Kofi to elimate Kingston and become the new #1 Contender for the WWE Championship!
After his revolutionary idea spawned a new #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Guest Host Jesse Ventura served as the moderator of the contract signing that would make John Cena Vs. Sheamus for the WWE Title at WWE TLC official! “The Governer” requested that John Cena come to the ring, which “The Champ” complied with. Cena sat down across from Sheamus, who chose to remain standing. “The Celtic Warrior” then demands that Cena stand up and “face” him. Not impressed by the recent actions of Sheamus, Cena said that Sheamus “preys on the weak” while he has defended the WWE Title against the best in the world and stated that Sheamus had “better be ready to make a statement”! Sheamus says that he retires people and attack Hall of Famers because he “can” and that it is “nothing” compared to what he will do to Cena at WWE TLC! The champion and #1 Contender then go face-to-face with Sheamus signing the contract, followed by Cena. Jesse Ventura then steps in and claims that there is a “conspiracy” to keep John Cena the WWE Champion because Cena has the “look” and has a “goes along to get along” attitude! The controversial Hall of Famer then stated that he never got a shot at the title in his wrestling career. Cena then goes face-to-face with “The Governer” which gave Sheamus the opportunity to blast Cena with a vicious kick to the head! “The Celtic Warrior” continued his assault of the WWE Champion by sending Cena shoulder-first into the ring post and making his “statement” by putting Cena through a table! As Sheamus stands over the broken champion, Jesse Ventura announces that the WWE Title match at WWE TLC will be a Tables Match! Now faced with a new, intense, and hungry #1 Contender, can John Cena retain his WWE Title against Sheamus in a Tables Match or will Cena become the next, and biggest, victim of “The Celtic Warrior”?