Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night Raw!
John Cena’s music is blaring in the arena as the WWE’s version of Superman frolics around the ring. Cena puts over the fact that this is the first time he has been in a WWE ring in 2011. Cena lists his priorities for the year. 1. Take out CM Punk, 2. Find a copy of Reggie’s Prayer, 3. Win the Royal Rumble, & 4. Go to Wrestlemania and win the WWE Championship.
The Miz’s music hits and he comes down to the ring with Alex Riley. He lets Cena know that the purple clad star will not be winning the WWE Championship at ‘mania. The Miz also announces that the Royal Rumble will have 40 competitors this year! Miz says that if Cena is able to come over the seemingly insurmountable odds, he will still lose to The Miz. Cena retorts with a Sly Stallone impression. Cena says that if it wasn’t for Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler would be the Champion. If it wasn’t for Alex Riley, Randy Orton would be the Champion. Cena makes a joke about irritable bowel syndrome, and then turns to the audience and says that it is PG so he is doing the best that he can.
The Miz says that Cena is corny. He stops from finishing his catchphrase, saying that he will finish it once he defeats Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble. Cena says that The Miz will not make it past the Royal Rumble, and he certainly will not make it to Wrestlemania. Cena tells The Miz that if he is angry, now would be the time to do something about. Cena throws down the mic.
CM Punk’s music hits. He appears at the top of the entrance ramp with Nexus. He tells Miz that he doesn’t have to listen to the ramblings of Cena. Punk reiterates that there are 40 people in the Rumble this year. Punk points out that he is in the Rumble match along with all the members of the New Nexus who proved their worth with the initiations last week. Punk says that he cannot wait to see Cena take on those odds.
Otunga, Husky & McGillicutty run down to the ring. It’s a 3 on 1 fight, but Kozlov & Santino run down to make the save. Nexus slips out of the ring. Punk grabs the mic, and says that it might seem like an even fight, but it’s time for him to get involved. Let’s see if Cena can deal with these odds.
and I quote…
I wonder what the odds are of CM Punk beating John Cena one on one tonight if the Nexus members are banned from ringside? In fact, if any Nexus members gets involved in the match tonight, they will be kicked out of the Royal Rumble match.
Tonight: Dolph Ziggler v. Randy Orton
The Usos v. Santino & Kozlov w/ Tamina
Santino starts the match. He is hit with a second rope crossbody, but kicks out of a pin. Quick tag as Uso comes in and punches Santino a couple of times, he tags his brother back in. Santino is again covered, but breaks the count. Uso locks on a rear headlock, but Santino is able to break free. Santino scurries to the corner and makes the tag. Uso does as well. Kozlov charges into the ring with a head butt. A scoop slam and cover attempt, but Uso kicks out. The other Uso runs into the ring, so Santino comes in to clean up the mess. Kozlov goes for a cover, but Uso kicks out. Santino gets the tag, and Kozlov heads out of the ring to deal with one of the brothers. Santino pumps up the cobra, and this match is over!
Winners via Cobra: Santino & Kozlov
In the back Otunga, Husky & McGillicutty are trying to figure out what to do tonight. Punk comes into the shot smiling. Punk pauses… and says, “faith”.
In the back, Daniel Bryan is with the Bellas. Morrison sees them walk by, and laughs.
John Morrison v. Daniel Bryan w/ The Bellas
Bryan gets behind him at the start, and then they switch positions. Morrison kicks out, and then takes Bryan to the mat with an arm bar. He twists it around, but Bryan spins free and hits a slam, all whilst maintaining his hold on Morrison’s arm. Morrison breaks the hold with an elbow, but gets hit with a dropkick. Morrison falls to the outside of the ring. Bryan goes for a baseball slide, but Morrison moves out of the way.
Back from the break, Morrison has Bryan in a side headlock. Bryan escapes but gets hit with a reversed Stroke. Morrison goes for Starship Pain, but Bryan slides out of the way. Bryan kicks him hard in the face, and goes for a cover. Morrison kicks out. Bryan is thrown into the ropes, and Morrison charges as well. The both collide at full force with crossbodies!
Bryan goes for a German suplex, but Morrison lands on his feet! The exchange a series of roll ups, which culminates in Bryan attempting the LeBelle lock. Morrison prevents the hold and connects with the Flash Kick! Morrison follows with the running knee, and this match is over!
Winner via Running Knee: John Morrison
After the match, they shake hands. Sheamus’ music hits and he comes out onto the entrance ramp. He says that Morrison might feel proud of himself, but the credit is actually his own. Sheamus forced Morrison to elevate his game. Sheamus puts the Royal Rumble. Sheamus says that he will personally eliminate both Bryan and Morrison.
Video package highlights last week’s main event
In the back, the Bellas are fighting once again about Daniel Bryan. They are apparently fighting over who will be Daniel Bryan’s “first”. They make an undisclosed wager and shake hands.
Vickie Guerrero is introduced and she comes down to the ring. The fans are going wild. She introduces her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler v. Randy Orton
Back from commercial, this match is underway. Ziggler hammers on Orton, and then gets whipped into the ropes. Orton hits a Thesz Press and pummels the bleach haired star of Smackdown. Ziggler gets to his feet, but is destroyed by an Orton clothesline. Ziggler rolls on to the apron. Orton hits a see saw which sends Ziggler neck first into the bottom rope. Ziggler kicks out of the cover.
Orton goes for a headlock, but Ziggler escapes with a jaw breaker. Ziggler takes the action to the knee of Orton. He places it on the bottom rope, and then leaps and kicks out. Ziggler slides out of the ring and slams the knee of Orton on the apron. He then drags Orton to the corner and does the same against the steel post. Ziggler rolls back into the ring, but gets kicked in the gut. Orton punches him in the head, and then hits an uppercut. Orton punches him a few times, but gets caught with a dropkick. Ziggler grabs the knee and pulls it back hard.
Orton gets to his feet, and starts to hit his signature series of offense. He drags Ziggler onto the apron and goes for the suspended DDT. Ziggler is able to block the move by punching the back of Orton’s knee. Ziggler hits a fame asser. He jumps on the back of Orton and locks on the sleeper. Orton claws to the ropes to break the hold. Ziggler leaps for his finisher, but Orton holds on to the ropes as a counter. Ziggler tries again, but this time Orton turns it into an RKO! This match is over.
Winner via RKO: Randy Orton
After the match, The Miz and Alex Riley run down to the ring to attack Orton. They drag him out of the ring and throw him into the steel steps. Lawler tries to make the save, but gets attacked and thrown over the barricade for his efforts. Miz returns his focus to Orton, driving him spine first into the steel post.
Miz sends Orton crashing through the barricade. He grabs a mic and whispers in Orton’s face that he is the Miz, and he’s awesome.
CM Punk is in the back with New Nexus, again talking about faith. He says that it is about being willing to sacrifice all, to bow in the face of temptation, and to truly sacrifice themselves. Punk says that the millions of voices of the undead will ring out in the soul of the man beast. He then adds something about loyalty. I have no idea what the hell just happened, sorry.
Maryse v. Natalya
Eve Torres & Melina have joined Michael Cole on commentary.
Natalya tries to go for a quick sharpshooter, but Maryse uses the ropes to escape. Maryse hits a DDT and goes for the cover. Natayla kicks out. Maryse locks on a modified camel clutch, but Natalya gets to her feet and throws Maryse off. Natalya hits a clothesline and again tries for the sharp shooter. This time she is able to lock it in. Maryse tries to grab the bottom rope, but Natalya pulls her into the middle of the ring. This match is over.
Winner via Sharpshooter: Natalya
After the match, Maryse yells at Cole. Eve pushes her. Maryse ignores her, and continues to yell and throw things at Cole. Dibiase runs down to the ring. Maryse yells at him and says that he is a loser. Dibiase grabs the mic. He asks if Maryse thinks he can win the Rumble. Clearly, she does not. Dibiase says that he can win the match, and can throw anybody over the top rope. He issues an open challenge to any superstar right now.
Dibiase is still in the ring by himself. He says that the reason no one in the locker room has accepted his challenge is because they know that they cannot beat him. Mark Henry’s music hits and this Royal Rumble match rules bout is underway.
Mark Henry v. Ted Dibiase
They exchange a couple of blows, and then Henry throws Dibiase out of the ring. This match is over.
Winner via throwing Dibiase over the top rope: Mark Henry
After the match, Tyson Kidd, Yoshi Tatsu & William Regal run down to the ring. They are followed by a crazy amount of the Raw locker room. A spontaneous Battle Royal breaks out. Henry is victorious, even over Sheamus who ran down at the last minute. Henry’s music hits to celebrate his win. Alberto Del Rio’s music hits next. He rolls out in his car and has mic. He once again says that it is his destiny to win the Royal Rumble and go on to Wrestlemania.
Derek Bateman from NXT is featured in a commercial promoting a “World’s Strongest Man” scented cologne.
Jerry Lawler has rejoined commentary.
Video package highlights the statistics of the Royal Rumble match
Cena is shown in the back, preparing to head to the ring.
John Cena v. CM Punk
The start the match by staring each other down in the ring. Cena slugs away and then hits a vicious bulldog. He backs Punk into the corner and then drops him to the mat. Cena is fired up as he circles around Punk. Cena has his fists up and connects several times with Punk’s skull. Cover attempt, but Punk kicks out. Punk is able to get to his feet and kicks Cena to the outside of the ring.
Back from the break, Punk has Cena in a leg scissors. Punk goes for the cover, but Cena kicks out. Punk slithers behind Cena and knees him in the spine several times. Punk dropkicks him in the back of the head and goes back to the scissors. Cena escapes and starts to work his moves of doom. He connects with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk kicks out of the cover.
Punk manages to get himself back in control of the match, and lifts Cena on top of his shoulders. Punk goes for the GTS, but Cena counters into the STF! Punk cRawls to the ropes to break the hold. Both men are on their feet. They charge at each other and both go for clotheslines, which sends them crashing into each other. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk slides onto the apron. Punk springboards into the ring with a clothesline. Cover attempt, but Cena kicks out.
Cena is getting kicked by Punk, but then lifts him into the air for the Attitude Adjustment. Punk counters into the Anaconda Vice. It is a devastating maneuver, but Cena just barely makes it to the ropes. Cena falls to the outside of the ring to give himself time to recover. Punk slingshots outside of the ring for a crossbody. Cena catches him in mid air! John rams Punk spine first into the steel post. Cena slides Punk back into the ring, and then climbs the turnbuckle. Punk finds the wherewithal to follow up after him. Punk is looking for a Superplex, but Cena uses first his strength, and then a head butt, to knock Punk to the mat. Cena is perched on the top rope, and leaps for a leg drop! Cover attempt, but CM Punk kicks out.
Someone, runs down onto the apron. This distracts Cena long enough for Punk to kick him in the head. The mystery distracter then enters the ring. Punk holds his arms out in the crucifix position. He closes his eyes and waits. The man charges at Punk with a strong clothesline. The man then turns his attention to Cena. He hits a devastating Rock Bottom.
Now that the match is over, Nexus runs down to the ring. Punk calls them off of attacking the mysterious stranger. Punk and the man stare each other down. The man then takes a knee in front of Punk, and extends his arm. Punk takes a Nexus arm band, and places it on the stranger. Nexus poses with their fists raised as the show goes off the air.
I really need a way to tell apart the Uso brothers.
I like the decision by Miz to not say he is “awesome” until he defeats Orton at the Rumble. It makes sense and will make it that much more powerful when he is able to say it on the Monday after he retains.
Never mind, Miz said it later in the show.
The decision to make the Rumble 40 people strong this year is a financial one in my eyes. Buys are down for PPVs, so they are trying out different ways to encourage interest. That being said, I hope that they decrease the entrance time from 90 seconds to 60 seconds. Otherwise I can see it becoming really boring and treacherous. But, I’m going to remain optimistic in the meantime.
Fun little match between Bryan and Morrison. It was pretty much exactly what you would expect from the two, which is not a bad thing.
Vickie still gets crazy heat from the Raw crowd.
I’m not really sure why Dolph Ziggler was on Raw tonight. Every week we seem to be seeing at least one Smackdown star on the show. This appearance did not help Ziggler, so I can’t for the life of me figure out the rational in bringing him over.
The spontaneous Battle Royal was rather bizarre.
The Royal Rumble statistics video package made me really happy.
I wish that Cena vs. Punk had been saved for a PPV. That being said, it had a dirty finish so they can easily drag it out. I’m not sure who the mysterious stranger is that joined Punk, but it makes sense. I was expecting someone to run down to the ring to help, and it had to be someone not in the Rumble. This worked. Nexus definitely needs to be more than four members to be a force on the show. This new member pushes it to five. I can deal with that.
Tonight’s Raw was good. Not great, not bad.. but good. I’ll give it a respectable (C+) grade.
Be sure to check out my http://www.wrestleview.com/viewnews.php?id=1293993787 Raw Year in Review for 2010!
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– David Stephens
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