Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it is time for Monday Night RAW!
Forget in-ring promos, tonight’s RAW starts with the sound of the ring bell, and a huge match to determine the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at Summerslam.
Triple Threat to Determine #1 Contender for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton v. Edge v. Chris Jericho
The match starts off with a beautiful disaster as all three men charge at each other. Orton and Edge fall to the mat as Chris Jericho relentlessly applies his boot to both foes. Edge reaches his feet and joins in with Jericho on the Orton beat down. With a surge of speed, Randy gets to his feet and sends Edge to the outside. This causes Jericho and Orton to square off, with Jericho ultimately sending Orton to the mat via a couple of hard punches. Edge makes his way back into the ring, and it looks as though Edge and Jericho will be working together to take out the Viper.
Their strategy quickly fails as Orton is whipped into the ropes, but counters a backdrop attempt into a double DDT! Jericho rolls to the outside as Randy shifts his attention towards Edge. Randy is focused with boot after boot to the mangled Edge. Orton lifts him to his feet and sets him in the corner. With all of his might, Orton whips Edge towards the opposing corner. Orton is pounding on the mat and setting up for the RKO!
Edge counters the finisher attempt and pushes Orton back a couple of feet. The spinning Jericho is caught by the Code Breaker from Jericho! The action will continue after the break.
Back live, we see Edge in control on the outside with Orton. Edge rolls Orton into the ring and goes for the cover, but to no avail. Edge takes a moment to taunt the crowd, much to their chagrin. Edge sets up for a running boot, but Jericho grabs his leg from the outside and pulls him out of the ring, sending him into the commentators table. Jericho flies into the ring and tries for a quick roll up on Orton. Despite even putting his foot against the bottom rope for leverage, Randy is able to kick out.
Jericho is whipped into the ropes and is caught with a swift scoop slam. Randy sends Jericho out to the apron, and looks to be setting up his suspended DDT. Edge comes in for the cheap shot, but with eyes seemingly in the back of his head, Randy is ready and catches Edge with a neck breaker! Orton focuses his attention back towards Jericho.
Jericho has used the distraction of Edge as a moment of reprieve, and counters an attempted DDT by Orton. Chris rolls Orton into the Walls of Jericho! Chris has him stranded in the middle of the ring, with no rope break in sight. Edge comes in to ultimately make the save. Edge plants Jericho with a modified face buster, which sets up the Spear. Jericho counters into what at first looked to be a roll up, but ends up as the Walls of Jericho!
Edge manages to reach the ropes, breaking the hold. Edge swings through with his momentum to throw Jericho to the outside of the ring. Orton comes in for a sneak RKO, but Edge counters! Orton finds himself planted face first on the mat, grasping for some source of strength. Edge once again looks for the spear. Jericho runs in from behind and sets up a School Boy pin! Edge escapes, but then tries for a roll up on Orton! Orton kicks out.
Orton punches Edge in the gut, causing him to roll to the outside of the ring to catch his breath. Randy goes for the RKO on Jericho, but Chris slides out of the way. Jericho springboards off the ropes for the Lionsault, but Orton rolls out of the way, and then hits the RKO on Jericho! Edge comes into the ring, but he also gets caught with an RKO! Orton lays on top of Edge, and scores the pinfall!
Winner and #1 Contender for WWE Championship at Summerslam: Randy Orton
A very irate Edge is in the ring with a microphone. He calls out Jericho and demands that he comes out to the ring. Chris complies and heads to ringside. Edge says that he is sick and tired of them costing each other Title shots, and match results. Edge screams that this needs to end tonight. Jericho grabs a mic and says that Edge is an idiot. Clearly Edge doesn’t understand that Jericho is the reason the Nexus has achieved what they have so far. Jericho cites Wade Barrett as the source of said claim. Edge says that he very much doubts that the Nexus would ever credit someone like Jericho for their success, considering all the personal accommodations he is giving himself for their success.
Cue the Nexus music, and the NXT 7 make their way out to the ring. Wade has a microphone and says that both Jericho and Edge are greats in the business. But, that doesn’t mean they will refrain from exerting the presence. Wade says they won’t just take years of Edge’s career, they will end it. Nexus has encircled Edge, and begin the attack. It doesn’t take very long for the 7 on 1 numbers game to completely overpower Edge. Skip Sheffield hits a huge lariat to seal the deal.
This whole time Jericho has been looking on and encouraging the Nexus. Jericho jumps on the fallen Edge, and locks on the Walls of Jericho. Wade grabs the microphone and tells Chris that Edge was actual right. They have no need for someone like Jericho who will try and take credit for their deeds. Jericho realizes far too late that they were never out here on his side, and quickly succumbs to the numbers game in the same manner as Edge. Otunga hits his finisher which plants Jericho square in the middle of the ring. Wade stands over Jericho and exclaims that Jericho never taught him a single thing during NXT. What the Nexus has achieved, has been on their own accord.
Nexus is in the back heading towards their locker room. Josh Mathews takes Wade to the side to interview him about his match against the World’s Strongest Man, later tonight. Josh says that there is doubt that any single member of the Nexus can compete on the level of Mark Henry, without the power of group think and presence. Wade asks Josh if he is quaking in his boots. Josh concedes that he is, and admits his fear. Wade says that Mark Henry will feel that very same fear in the ring tonight.
Sheamus walks up to Wade and says that he has a plan that he would like to talk to him about. Wade invites him into his office with the rest of the Nexus, but Sheamus says he would rather talk outside. Wade says suit yourself, and leaves him out to dry in the hall.
Michael Cole has John Cena from backstage via the Titantron. Cole asks Cena his feelings on the current state of affairs with the Nexus and his match last night. Cena says that he sees the writing on the walls. A couple weeks ago Wade gave him the chance to shake hands and have it all end, but Cena scoffed at the notion. Tonight, he wants to see the Nexus in the ring as he has a message for them. Cena notes that the view of the Nexus is that you are either Nexus, are against them. Cena cryptically says, “if you can’t beat them…” as he heads off screen.
Eve Torres v. Maryse w/ Ted Dibiase
Dibiase joins commentary for this match. Maryse kicks Eve in the gut, and then sets her up against the second rope. Maryse charges and attacks the back of Eve. Eve is standing in the corner. Maryse charges for the splash, but Eve counters with her elbow. Maryse falls to the mat, and Eve tries for a cover. Eve actually gets the 3 count? Maryse’s leg was clearly on the bottom rope!
Winner via a Blind Referee: Eve Torres
After the match, a furious Ted Dibiase enters the ring to yell at the referee. Ted pleads the case that Maryse’s leg was on the bottom rope. Dibiase looks to rough up the referee, but out comes John Morrison! John knocks him to the mat and then hits Starship Pain!
Sheamus is in the ring and he addresses the crowd. Sheamus puts over his dominance, and relays the message that John Cena will not be getting another Title shot for a very long time. Sheamus says that he went to Wade Barrett earlier tonight to demand a truce. Sheamus claims that he and Nexus are now the two most powerful entities in the entire WWE. They don’t have to like each other, they will just agree to stay out of each other’s ways.
Sheamus moves on to address his future match against Orton at Summerslam. Rather hypocritically, Sheamus says that the only way Randy could defeat him would be per Nexus interference. Sheamus boasts that he will be the longest running WWE Champion in history!
The Miz’s music plays, and he comes to the ring with Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. Miz puts over the fact that the real controller of the Championship, is himself! Miz tells Sheamus to be wary, because he will remain ever vigilant in finding the perfect opportunity to cash in the briefcase. Miz goes into his catchphrase, but Sheamus cuts him off saying that he is “nothing”. Sheamus says that HE is the WWE Champion, and starts to leave the ring.
Michael Cole relays the message that Miz may want to stay ringside, thanks to this match which will start now.
Sheamus v. Evan Bourne
Sheamus tries to start the match with the Big Boot, but Evan ducks. Evan kicks with a knee that sends Sheamus scurrying to the outside of the ring.
We come back with Sheamus rolling Evan Bourne back into the ring. Bourne bounces off the ropes and hits a nice kick to the gut of Sheamus. Bourne goes back to the ropes, but this time is caught with a stiff arm lariat from Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior goes for the cover, but Bourne kicks out. Evan is sitting in the corner as Sheamus stalks his way over. Sheamus nails him with several kicks to the gut and then slides to the outside of the ring. Sheamus grabs and arm and a leg and pulls Bourne hard against the steel post.
Sheamus makes his way back into the ring with a cocky smile on his face. Sheamus drags Bourne to the center of the mat, and lays in with a rear chin lock. Evan attempts to escape, but is thwarted with a huge side slam. Sheamus goes for the cover, but Evan manages to kick out. Sheamus grabs the face of Bourne, and throws it against the mat like the head of a rag doll. Sheamus again goes to his chin lock.
Bourne tries to use his legs to escape by using a couple of kicks. Bourne is in the corner, and Sheamus slaps him across the face. Bourne answers with a spinning kick which stuns him momentarily. Sheamus tries to pull off a back body drop on the charging Bourne, but instead Evan counters into a roll up! Sheamus kicks out. Evan hits another spinning wheel kick, and then looks to the turnbuckle.
Evan scales to the top, but Sheamus rolls outside of the ring. Evan is not about to let that stop him, and flies with a crossbody to the outside. Both men make their way back into the ring. Sheamus hits the Big Boot, and this match is over!
Winner via Big Boot: Sheamus
After the match, Miz charges into the ring with briefcase in hand. Miz hits Sheamus over the back and neck several times. Miz lifts him to his feet, and places the briefcase on the mat. Miz is looking for the Skull Crushing Finale. Sheamus struggle to resist, but ultimately fails and hits the case face first. Miz hands the case to the referee, and we may have a new Champion in only a couple of seconds!!
The bell has yet to ring on the match, as Sheamus appears to be knocked out. Miz is pleading with the referee to hurry up, but the ref does his job and waits to Sheamus to get to his feet. Before the match can begin, the music of R-Truth hits. Miz calls off the match and grabs the case from Justin Roberts. Miz tries to escape, but R-Truth catches him and the two begin to brawl. After about 30 seconds, Miz is able to break free and high tails it from ringside.
Josh Mathews takes a moment to interview the very angry Miz backstage. The Miz is furious, but says that it doesn’t matter whether it happens tonight, or a year from now, he will be the WWE Champion!
Santino & Kozlov v. Ryder and Regal
The match starts with Santino and Ryder squaring off in the middle of the ring. After a quick back and forth of punches and kicks, both men tag in their respective partners. Kozlov effectively trips up Regal, and then brings Santino back into the match. Santino jumps from the second rope at Regal, but William simply side steps the attempt. Regal knocks Santino square in the jaw, and then heads to his corner which brings in Ryder.
Ryder loses the advantage gained by his partner, as Ryder is caught by a surprising crossbody from Santino. The crazy Superstar reaches his corner and tags in Kozlov. The Russian Mauler comes into the ring and hits his finisher on Ryder. Kozlov goes for the pin, but Regal attempts to break the cover. Kozlov sits up and sends Regal flying to the outside of the ring. Santino is begging for the tag, and Kozlov complies. Santino goes for the salute, and picks up the victory!
Winners via Salute: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov
Wade Barrett v. Mark Henry
Barrett plays it coy at the beginning of the match by spending time on the apron, and on the outside. Mark Henry hits him with a head butt, and Wade rolls to the outside of the ring. Barrett hits a knee to the gut of Henry, as well as trying for a couple of head butts of his own. He probably should have stayed away from Henry’s move, because a very unhappy Henry is pumping himself up.
Henry sends Barrett into the corner, and then follows up with a clothesline. Henry lifts Barrett off the mat, and looks for a couple of punches. Wade uses his legs to go after the battered knee of Henry. It looks to be working at first, so Wade takes a risk. Barrett bounces off the ropes, but gets caught with a scoop slam! Henry goes for the cover, but Barrett kicks out.
Henry heads to the second rope, looking for a splash on Wade. The Nexus appears on the entrance ramp, distracting the attention of Henry. Wade walks over to Mark, and looks to go for his finisher. Wade lifts The World’s Strongest Man up on his shoulders!! Wade connects with The Wasteland, and this match is over!
Winner via The Wasteland: Wade Barrett
After the match, the Nexus joins Barrett in the ring. Wade has a microphone and calls out Cena for their meeting.
The Nexus is in the ring, and Michael Tarver has a microphone as we head into the final segment of the night. Despite already agreeing to one truce tonight, they are open to hearing him out. A truce can be made, IF Cena is willing to admit that it is the Nexus that runs this show. The decision is completely up to Cena.
Cena’s theme hits, and he makes his way out to the ring as a lone man amidst the NXT 7. John notes that since the arrival of the Nexus he has had two WWE Championship matches, both of which they cost him. Cena says that earlier tonight, Sheamus made a pact with the Nexus, something that Cena should have done long ago. He apologizes to the fans, but feels that this is the only way.
Wade says that the answer to Cena’s request, is “no”. They aren’t even interested in extending an olive branch. What they want is so much more. The Nexus wants Cena to join them, to become a part of the Nexus. Wade tells Cena that he can achieve ten times what he already has, with the aid of the Nexus. Together, the two entities would become unstoppable. Wade says that really it isn’t much of a choice. Because “you are either Nexus, or against us”. The ball is in Cena’s court.
John has a hesitant look upon his face, as the crowd cheers him with support. He says that no, he just cannot do it. Wade says that this unfortunate decision means that Cena has two choices. Leave the ring like a coward, or stay in the ring and receive the most vicious beating that the Nexus has ever administered.
Cena exits the ring and sheepishly begins to head to the back. Cena begins to make his way up the entrance ramp. At the top he pauses. John reiterates his point that whether alone or by help, he will take out every member of the Nexus. Cena says that tonight’s peace offering was a test. The Nexus said no, as a result, it is time to show his hand. Cena says that he has spent the last couple of weeks forming a team. At Summerslam, it will be time for his team to wipe out the Nexus!!
Cena introduces his team. One by one, the entrance music hits and they join Cena on the ramp.
John Cena’s team will be: Edge, John Morrison, R-Truth, The Great Khali, Chris Jericho and…. BRET HART!!!
Cena’s team charges at the ring and clears house to end RAW. Cena’s army has been assembled, and it is time once again to say it – RAW is WAR!
Ladies and Gentlemen, RAW is WAR once again. Tonight was a spectacular show from top to bottom. We are still over a month out, and I am already pumped for Summerslam. Hats off to creative because they have laid out the foundation for many great feuds and storylines. I’m sure the haters will jump onto the band wagon of hate over the fact that Cena has an army. But personally, I think it is bloody brilliant. I don’t know what it is, but the fact that Bret Hart came out as the final man got me incredibly excited. Sure, he can’t do much in terms of in ring involvement, but it is just the perfect piece to cap off the puzzle. Stay tuned folks, RAW is about to get very interesting.
On to the rest of the show. Well what do you know, RAW actually started out with a wrestling match! I honestly could not tell you off the top of my head when the last time RAW has started without at least some sort of in ring segment. That Triple Threat was a hell of a match! It certainly surpasses what you would expect from free TV. Orton’s victory ensures a major match that will test the star power of Sheamus. Headlining Summerslam against Randy Orton calls for a match that could very well define the potential for the future of his career. I like the fact that they have established the match this far in advance, which should provide substantial build up.
The beat down of Edge and Jericho adds a much needed element to the Nexus angle. Making the sole protagonist of the storyline John Cena would quickly grow stale. Adding in others that will hopefully be more than one night victims of the Nexus creates an entirely new dynamic. (Something that would make perfect sense come the conclusion of the show)
Not a bad match between Eve and Maryse, at least in terms of the context of its role in setting up the storyline between John Morrison and Ted Dibiase. The best part of the entire match? No Alicia Fox.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that The Miz was the absolute perfect choice for Money in the Bank winner. The case becomes a terrific prop which only adds to his character. I hope he holds on to it for a couple of months to really build up his anticipated Title run. It will be very entertaining TV to watch.
Sheamus and Evan Bourne put on a hell of a match tonight. I know there are those who will probably be unhappy given the fact that Evan Bourne tends to be Sheamus’ #1 jobber. To be fair, it does seem that way, but what happened in that ring tonight was not the typical “jobber” match. Take a look back at the previous Bourne/Sheamus matches and compare it to this one from tonight. It’s like night and day. Bourne came out looking very strong, and Sheamus established his first win (albeit non-Title) after the controversial finish of last night’s cage match.
The moment with Miz was actually very well done. It showcased the fact that The Miz runs the risk of becoming consumed with his potential World Title run. While that is certainly a potential accolade of immeasurable grandeur in his career, he cannot afford to forget the present. He is, after all, still the United States Champion. R-Truth’s appearance was a reminder of the harsh reality that while he may be stalking Sheamus for the WWE Championship, there are those out there doing the same for Miz’s US Title.
That point I just brought up seems to sum up the success of RAW tonight. Pretty much every match and segment were utilized to build up or start a storyline. This is expected this time of year, because the WWE is approaching the “Summer’s Wrestlemania”. To prepare for the second biggest PPV of the year, they have set into motion several storylines which like a grandmother’s stew will have time to cook and develop to perfection. As it looks less and less each week that Undertaker and HHH will be able to return in time for the PPV, the WWE is going back to the elements that make wrestling so great in the first place – storylines and fantastic matches.
An interesting side effect of this Kozlov/Santino pairing is that it is working to slowly rebuild the legitimacy of Santino as a performer. You’ll notice that each and every week he seems to get in a just a little bit more offense. I’m not saying the comedy bits are going to disappear, and I’d be pretty upset if they did, I’m just pointing out the trend that will hopefully lead to some success for Kozlov and Santino’s unlikely pairing.
I have to say that the finisher Wade hit tonight was pretty damn impressive. Not just because of the crazy feat it was to lift the World’s Strongest Man, but also the crispness of the move. Now, maybe the move looked different due to the weight, but I actually thought that it had a certain snap and feel to it that I really liked. I have generally been bored by the move, but tonight it worked. This match was necessary to establish to the fans the fact that the Nexus guys are actually wrestlers as well. Keeping in mind that the bulk of the audience didn’t watch NXT, they have pretty much never even seen these guys compete in the ring. Aside from their finishers, they have very limited knowledge on their move repertoire. I’d expect that with each showing the fans will become more and more invested into their matches.
A+ RAW tonight. It was Sports Entertainment at its finest.
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