Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night Raw!!!
The show kicks off with Santino’s music filling the arena. The Tag Team Champions make their way down to the ring accompanied by Tamina.
WWE Tag Team Championship
Santino & Kozlov [c] v. ?
Before the opponents can even enter, Nexus runs down to the ring and attacks the Champs. They are all sporting a new Nexus T-shirt which is emblazoned with Punk’s fist holding on to a lightning bolt. After the slaughter, Punk grabs the mic. He says that the Tag Team match has been postponed to a later date. Ever since Nexus hit the scene, they have dominated. Now, they are even stronger. Punk tells the members of Nexus that they have the potential to be greater than any star in WWE history. Punk says that he has the tools to help them succeed. Punk says that unlike the former Nexus leader, Wade, he can actually accomplish things. Not to mention the fact that he injured Cena and put him out of action. Cena’s days of hustle, loyalty and respect our over, but Punk’s are just beginning. Punk says that tonight he will make the ultimate sacrifice by initiating himself as the new leader of the New Nexus.
Punk says that each member of Nexus must prove to themselves, the group, and the worthless people in attendance, that they have what it takes to be a member of the New Nexus. If all members pass, then Nexus will be at the apex of its power. They will take over the WWE entirely. Otunga grabs the mic. He speaks on behalf of the other members when he says that they would be honored to be initiated tonight. Punk says that the honor will be his.
Punk calls Michael McGillicutty up first. Nexus is famous for their group beat downs. Michael’s initiation is to be on the receiving end of one of those Nexus beat downs. Punk calls up Husky as the leadoff hitter. Michael looks to be questioning whether or not the initiation is worth it, but Otunga strikes before Husky has the chance. Slater looks hesitant as the members of Nexus eye each other. Slater leaps and connects with a clothesline. It is Husky’s turn as he hits a running Senton. Otunga and Harris drag Michael towards the corner. Gabriel scales the turnbuckle. He looks down as he takes in the situation and atmosphere. Justin leaps and connects with his devastating 450 splash. CM Punk then drops down to one knee. The four remaining members of Nexus lift Michael up off the mat and place him on Punk’s shoulders! Punk stands to his feet and hits the GTS!
The Nexus music hits and they begin to exit the ring. Punk pauses as the Nexus members scoop up Michael. He is carried from the ring over the shoulders of Nexus in a crucifix position as Punk leads the way. Michael is officially the first member of the New Nexus.
R-Truth’s music hits and he hips and hops his way down to the ring. Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer is introduced, and he brings the Smackdown Star down to the ring for this match.
R-Truth v. Alberto Del Rio
The match starts off with a mild slap fight. Truth pushes Rio into the corner and mounts him. He begins a ten punch, but Rio knocks him down. Rio tries for a quick cover, but Truth kicks out. Truth is whipped into the ropes, but springs back with a hurricarana. He aims for a lariat, which sends both men spiraling out of the ring. The referee begins the ten count. They begin to bRawl on the outside of the ring. Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer grabs a hot mic. He starts shouting “what’s up” at R-Truth. This causes Truth to whirl around and pop him in the jaw. Del Rio slides back in the ring right before the ten count expires. Truth is counted out, and this match is over.
Winner via Count Out: Alberto Del Rio
After the match, Del Rio grabs the mic. He says that his destiny is to win the Royal Rumble and headline Wrestlemania. He says that that isn’t important tonight, because tonight they are in Nashville, TN – a place renowned for its music. Rio calls their music and culture a joke. Especially that “awful country music”. Rio says that he is from Mexico, a place with real music and culture. A “U-S-A” chant breaks out. Rio says that he will now showcase some of that talent. He calls over Ricardo who performs one of the worst Mariachi musical interludes in the history of mankind.
Tonight: Morrison v. King Sheamus
Recently, Michael Cole has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism. I support Michael Cole in every conceviable way. Even though he is a pompous, arrogant, self centered jerk. Just kidding, Michael Cole has done a great job, and is the epitome of manhood. We need more people like him. Michael is an award winning journalist and two time Slammy winner. Not to mention the fact that he is handsome. Ladies and gentlemen the highest honor that anyone can receive is to call themselves a Cole Miner.
Jerry stands up and says that he has a message from the entire WWE Universe. And I quote… SHUT UP!
Lawler gets to his feet and looks to punch Cole. Michael says that Lawler can’t touch him because of the GM’s orders. Lawler says that no one would ever call Cole handsome. What Cole is, is a coward.
Michael Cole is not a coward, and neither is Lawler. Tonight, The Miz & Alex Riley will take on Jerry Lawler & Randy Orton
In the back, Punk is with the remaining members of Nexus. He calls up Husky as the next initiate. If Harris chooses, his initiation will be to take three lashings from each Nexus member. They proceed one at a time. When they finish, Punk tells them to hold Harris up on his feet. Punk has a leather strap for himself and brutally unloads on the back of Harris!
Husky Harris is the second member to join the New Nexus
Daniel Bryan w/ The Bella Twins & Mark Henry v. Tyson Kidd & Ted Dibiase w/ Maryse
Bryan and Ted start things off. Dibiase sends Bryan to the outside and distracts the ref. Tyson runs over to hit a cheap shot. Bryan is rolled back into the ring by Dibiase, and then Tyson is tagged into the ring. Kidd distracts the referee this time, as Ted stomps on Bryan. Ted gets the tag and kicks the US Champion in the gut. Ted cinches in a rear headlock. Bryan escapes by using his elbow and then charges at the ropes. Dibiase is floored by a lariat, and Henry gets the tag. Ted rolls to Kidd, and Tyson flies into the ring. Kidd is hit with a punch and is backed into a corner. Henry charges, but Kidd slides out of the way. Dibiase runs into the ring and helps hit a stereo dropkick with his partner on Henry. The World’s Strongest Man stays on his feet and takes out his foes with a couple of clotheslines. Henry scoops up Kidd and hits The World’s Strongest Slam. This match is over.
Winners via World’s Strongest Slam: Daniel Bryan & Mark Henry
The Big Show comes down to the ring and he cuts a promo. First he announces that he will be taking out the newest member of the Smackdown roster, Wade Barrett, this week on Smackdown. Next, he explains how he will be winning the Royal Rumble this year.
The Nexus music hits and CM Punk walks onto the entrance ramp surrounded by Slater, Justin Gabriel and David Otunga. David continues walking down to the ring. It appears that his initiation is to attack The Big Show. Otunga slaps him in the face, and then stands with his arms spread open, ready to take his punishment. Show kicks him in the gut, and then throws him out of the ring. On the outside, Show throws him over the commentator’s booth, and then into the guardrail. Show rolls him back into the ring, and then connects with a chokeslam. Show isn’t finished, as a grabs the arm of Otunga, glances at Punk, and then connects with a Knockout Punch. The Big Show’s music hits. Punk, Slater and Gabriel raise their arms in the New Nexus salute.
John Morrison v. King Sheamus
Sheamus gets the upper hand at the offset of the match as he is able to ground Morrison. Sheamus connects with a couple kicks to the gut and a lariat which sends Morrison to the mat. Sheamus locks on a nice western tourniquet. Morrison is trying to wriggle free off of his side. He escapes, and runs at the ropes. Morrison kicks Sheamus in the gut with his knee. He sets up Sheamus under the top turnbuckle. Morrison attempts Starship Pain, but Sheamus pushes him right over the ring post!
Back from the commercial, Sheamus has Morrison’s back draped over the apron. Sheamus connects with several hammering blows across John’s chest. Sheamus rolls into the ring and tries for a cover. Morrison kicks out. Sheamus begins to toy with Morrison as he settles in with a modified chin lock. Morrison escapes, and knocks Sheamus back into the corner. He begins with a frenzied series of kicks. Sheamus is sent to the outside by Morrison who is still struggling with an injured arm. Morrison vaults out of the ring, but Sheamus plants his knee into the ribs of Morrison. Sheamus grabs him and drops him rib first on the steel steps before rolling him back in the ring.
Sheamus is prepping for the Brogue kick as Morrison struggles to get to his feet. Sensing the charging Irishman, Morrison drops to the mat. This prevents the kick, but Sheamus nails him in the back instead. Morrison climbs the turnbuckle, but Sheamus is heading right for him. Sheamus looks to have a counter, but Morrison plants him onto the steel post! Morrison flies forward with his running knee, and this match is over!
Winner via Running Knee: John Morrison
CM Punk is in the back holding two kendo sticks. Punk says that Slater and Gabriel’s initiation, if they choose to accept, is too beat each other with the Kendo sticks, until he tells them to stop. Gabriel and Slater are both holding their
lightsabers kendo sticks, but are hesitant. Punk tells them that they must do this to be in the New Nexus. He expects all his soldiers to hit homeruns. They still hesitate. Punk screams for them to DO IT! They both pause, and look at Punk. Contemplating their options, they are clearly thinking of striking Punk. The Straight Edge star laughs, and asks if they are going to hit him. Going farther, he tells them to do it. He holds out his arms and closes his eyes, repeating the command for them to hit him. They drop their kendo sticks and exit the room as Punk smiles.
Shawn Michaels is announced as the first inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011
The Heartbreak Kid’s music hits… and Shawn Michaels comes out to greet the crowd!!
Michaels makes his way into the ring and has a mic. The crowd starts a, “one more match” chant, but Michaels shakes his head. Before he can speak, Alberto Del Rio’s music hits. He walks down to the ring with the mic. He says that these people used to cheer HBK, but now they cheer him. It’s because they know that he is the present, and the future of the WWE. Rio again says that he’ll win the Royal Rumble, and then go on to win a belt at Wrestlemania. After which, he’ll become the NEW Mr. Wrestlemania. Del Rio has a huge smirk on his face as he looks at Shawn. HBK looks at Del Rio, and then hits him with Sweet Chin Music! Michaels holsters the mic that he never had to use, and struts around the ring. He grabs Del Rio’s scarf and puts it around his own neck. Michaels struts his way back out of the arena.
The Miz is in the back looking very downtrodden. Alex Riley looks pumped up about their match tonight. Riley says that he is upset because despite all of the great things that he has done, the only thing that people are talking about is Randy Orton. The Miz says that people are treating it like a fact that Orton will win the Championship from him at the Royal Rumble. Miz says that people are not giving him the respect that he has earned and deserves. Miz says that tonight they will show that the only given is the fact that he’ll be the Champion for a very long time.
Jerry Lawler has gone to prepare for his match, so Josh Mathews is now on commentary
Michael Cole is in the ring. He says that they are about to be joined by John Cena. Before he can continue, CM Punk’s voice is heard in the arena. Punk is standing on top of the Titantron! He says that tonight is the start of the New Nexus. His members have been willing to go through their initiations, and endure sacrifice. Punk says that he is about to undergo the greatest sacrifice. Punk says that this sacrifice will prove that he was a member of Nexus, and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Punk asks the crowd, should he dive off the Tron? Break every bone? Tear every muscle? Punk holds his arms out in the crucifix position.
Punk says that he has one more question. How gullible is the crowd? Punk picks up his shirt to show that he is harnessed. He says that he is being spotted by two guys. In fact, he is safer on top of the Tron than anyone is in the crowd. Punk asks, “what kind of idiot would jump off the Tron?”
Answer: Shane McMahon and Jeff Hardy.
The Nexus music hits and Harris, Otunga & McGillicutty make their way down to the ring. Slater and Gabriel are not present as they did not go through with the initiation. Video packages hits as Punk makes his way down and into the ring. Punk has a mic and says that anyone who actually thought he would jump off the Tron is stupid. Punk says that anyone who would jump off the Tron would be mentally unstable, and Punk is mentally superior. Punk doesn’t need an initiation because he is the leader of the New Nexus. Punk says that Cena is not even here.
Cena appears on the Tron, and is live via satellite. Cena mocks Punk. He says there was no need to give the Nexus a physical initiation because Cena has already taken them all out. Well, all except for one member. The new member. Cena has yet to take out CM Sucks. Punk says that he is not afraid of Cena. John counters by challenging him to a match next week on Raw! Punk accepts. Cena says that next week, Punk will be dealt with. “As sure as I wear purple, and the sun rises in the morning, you’ll be dealt with”. In the end, it’s about Cena kicking Punk’s ass!
The Miz & Alex Riley v. Jerry “The King” Lawler & Randy Orton
Lawler and Riley kicks things off. Miz distracts him which allows Riley to get in a couple of shots. Now that Lawler is weakened, Miz tags himself into the match. Miz gets in a kick, but Lawler connects with a devastating punch. Lawler mounts him and hits a series of right arms. Lawler takes him out of the ring and bangs the head of Miz over the announce booth, much to Michael Cole’s chagrin. Back in the ring, Lawler tags in Orton as Miz tags in Riley.
Orton throws him into the corner, but has a overhead throw countered. Riley tags in The Miz. Orton is quick to capitalize and drops Miz to the mat. He stomps across his face, and then hits a strong kick to the gut. Lawler gets the tag. Lawler relies on his fists to do the talking. He even taunts Miz into standing up, just to knock him back down. The referee backs Lawler off of Miz, which allows Miz to charge forward and achieve a full frontal mount. After a series of punches, the ref pulls him free. Miz locks on a rear choke. Lawler is sent into the corner, and is hit with Miz’s signature splash. We head to the final commercial of the night… at 11:04pm EST.
Back from the break, Alex Riley charges at Lawler with a shoulder block. Lawler dodges, and Riley flies into the steel post shoulder first. Lawler and Riley are both on their backs, struggling to make the tag. Riley tags in Miz, but Lawler’s tag is not seen by the ref. Miz begins to attack Lawler and goes for his finisher. As the ref’s back is turned, Orton slithers into the ring and hits an RKO! Miz is covered by Lawler, but Riley makes the save. Miz tags in Riley. Orton grabs Riley and hits the suspended DDT. He stares down Miz who is standing on the apron. Orton tags in Lawler, and then heads over to continue staring down The Miz, just daring him to enter the ring. Lawler climbs to the second rope, and connects with his flying fist drop! This match is over!
Winners via Flying Fist Drop: Jerry “The King” Lawler & Randy Orton
Tonight’s Raw was… baffling. It was so goofy, but really awesome at the same time. Kind of like Sour Starbursts. There is that kind of bitter taste that makes your face squish up and sends a squirm down your back, but then it’s deliciously fruity.
Nexus climbed Calvary to kick off Raw tonight, and it was powerful imagery indeed. CM Punk announced that initiations would occur for all members of the Nexus who wished to join the “New Nexus”. Michael started the Christian imagery of the night off with his crucifix pose as he was carried from the ring. Nexus continued the motif as they lashed the back of Husky. It fits well with the messianic character of CM Punk.
The symbolism continued with David Otunga. After Otunga struck Show, he basically turned the other cheek as the Giant demolished him. Alright, that one was a stretch. Eh, deal with it.
It was a short tag team match that saw Bryan & Henry go over their competitors. I didn’t have a chance to catch the match myself, but I heard from a friend that Kidd and Bryan had a nice match over on Superstars. Also, he told me that Superstars is a show that runs on Thursday nights produced by the WWE. Who’d have thought it?
John Morrison and King Sheamus wrestled for the bazillionth time. They clearly haven’t figured out where to progress with these two guys, so instead creative is settling with stagnation. Look, the matches are decent, but I’m getting tired of them. Keep the feud, but throw in some lackeys. This is why feuds rarely last for periods of any longevity nowadays. You can’t just have the same two guys wrestle every other show. Just look at Ezekiel Jackson v. Kozlov on ECW. That was torture. Tonight’s match between the two was really, really solid. But they can only wrestle each other for so long before it grows old.
Del Rio’s segment was pretty great… but why the hell was he on Raw? On that note, why the hell was The Big Show on Raw? Is Smackdown really so terrible that they need to send their stars over to Raw to beg the audience to tune in?
Shawn Michaels obviously deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, without question. Seeing his unexpected appearance tonight brought a huge smile to my face. This segment explained Del Rio’s match… I guess.
Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel are now out of the Nexus. Will they go over to Smackdown to join their former leader? I’m not sure where Slater goes from here, but I have absolute faith that Gabriel will have a decorated career regardless of his future Nexus involvement.
The Punk on top of the Titantron segment was near perfection. In fact, it is one of my favorite promos in recent memory. Absolutely well done in every aspect. Oh, I should probably mention this:
OMG Cena said ASS~!~!~!~!~! OMG PG PG PG PG PG
The sad thing is, I know that there are people all over the world ranting right now about how dumb PG is, and how this clearly shows that we should go back to the Attitude Era.
I still get a kick out of Lawler wrestling each week. He’s truly incredible. Randy Orton was in this match as well. I only bring it up because I keep forgetting that Orton is the #1 Contender until he pops up on the show. I don’t know what it is right now, but Orton keeps escaping my memory. He’s just kind of… there.
That being said, once he does appear in the ring he makes a decent impact. His stare down with Miz as Lawler hit his finisher and pinned Alex Riley was crisp and impactful. It had the feel of being a “worthwhile” moment, and I ate it up.
Time to give the show one of my arbitrary grades, because you guys apparently like it when I give it one. Tonight I laughed, was entertained, got caught up in a couple of storylines, saw some very nice wrestling, and even got a pretty sweet surprise appearance from Shawn Michaels. Tonight gets an (A)!
The best part of tonight’s show? The narcissistic gay magic mushroom that is Matt Hardy is now in TNA, so I have no fear of him appearing on Raw!!
Be sure to check out my http://www.wrestleview.com/viewnews.php?id=1293993787” Raw Year in Review for 2010!
I do read every single e-mail you guys send, and really appreciate hearing your thoughts. Send me some e-mails, and have a safe week everyone!
– David Stephens
Follow me on Twitter! @davewrestleview
Visit WrestleView daily for unique columns, recaps, audio and more including my columns That’s a Wrap and WrestleView Road Trip! Also, check out my audio show for the WrestleView Radio Network featuring Anthony Valvo (Mr. V) entitled “The Teacher’s Lounge”. If you’re a VIP member, don’t miss it!