Are you baffled as to why the theme song to the PG Era Raw is an ode to getting drunk? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it is time for Monday Night Raw!!!
Edge’s music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way down to the ring. He begins a rant on how much he can’t stand waiting. He wants Miz to come down to the ring now so that they can have their match.
and I quote
Edge, I know you’re very anxious to have your match against the Miz, but I have scheduled that attraction for later tonight. I haven’t forgotten about the way you treated me when you were a member of the Raw roster. Whichever of the three men that can throw Edge over the top rope in the about to occur exhibition match will be the 40th entry in the Royal Rumble.
Exhibition Match: Over the Top Rope Challenge
Edge v. Jack Swagger, Tyson Kidd & Drew McIntyre
Jack Swagger runs down to the ring, and gets immediately speared. Drew McIntyre and Tyson Kidd follow after him. Kidd attempts a springboard, but gets scoop slammed. Kidd is sent over the top rope, as are Swagger and eventually McIntyre.
After the match, Edge thanks the GM for that waste of time. Edge says that he’ll go and get ready for his match against the Miz, but first he has something else to do. Edge asks the crowd if they want to see a smashed laptop. The crowd roars its approval. Edge walks over to the podium, as Michael Cole walks in front to try and defend the GM. It’s probably his only friend in the entire WWE Universe.
The New Nexus, of all people, make their way down to the ring. CM Punk climbs and perches a top the turnbuckle. The former Second City Saint grabs the mic and saunters to the center of the ring. Punk tells the crowd that only the strong survive. Not just because of brute strength, but also because they evolve. Punk reiterates that the Royal Rumble has evolved and will now have 40 participants this year. As his surroundings change, the Straight Edge Superstar must also evolve.
The New Nexus has even expanded. Punk introduces the newest member, Mason Ryan. (aka BatistTWO). Ryan takes the mic and says he only has one thing to say, “faith”. Punk says that the men in the ring are bonded by faith. Unlike John Cena, and unlike The Corre over on Smackdown, the faith of the New Nexus will be united under one common goal at the Royal Rumble. That goal is to propel Punk to victory in the Rumble. Punk says that not only will he go on to main event Wrestlemania, but the New Nexus will go on to become the most dominating force in the history of the WWE.
The Corre’s music hits (and wow, that’s terrible music). Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson make their way down to the ring. Wade has the mic and says that the only poor man’s Nexus is Punk’s group. Wade says that The Corre is not about a dictatorship, it is about four men who are equals. Jackson says that at the Royal Rumble, the Corre will be united in making sure that Punk is eliminated. Mason Ryan stands up to stare down Jackson.
and I quote…
If I’m going to give Smackdown Superstars an open invitation to be on Raw, then they’ll have to play by my rules. Tonight, Wade Barrett will face CM Punk. The stakes are high, because whoever loses will see himself and his entire group out of the Royal Rumble match. One last thing, the special guest referee for the match will be John Cena!!
King Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio v. John Morrison & Mark Henry
Morrison and Sheamus start things off. Morrison misses a lariat which Sheamus uses to his advantage. Sheamus grounds the Parkour master, and then tags in Rio. Alberto charges into the ring, but Morrison uses his speed to gain the upper hand. Morrison looks for Starship Pain, but back flips onto his feet instead as Del Rio bails out of the ring.
Back from the break, Alberto Del Rio is working the back of Morrison. Cover attempt, but Morrison kicks out. Morrison bounces on one foot to try and make the tag, but Rio pulls him back into the center of the ring. Sheamus gets the tag and stomps on the back of Morrison. In the back, Michael Tarver is watching the match on a TV. I don’t know.
Sheamus applies an arm bar chin lock. Morrison is struggling to get to his feet, but Sheamus slams him down and into the mat. Sheamus then goes back to the chin lock, after clubbing the chest of Morrison. Tilt-a-whirl attempt by Morrison is countered into a back breaker. Sheamus is pumping up for the Brogue kick, he misses and gets drilled with a spin kick to the temple.
Morrison makes it to the corner and tags in Henry. Rio gets the tag as well. Henry hits a couple of punches and head butts before whipping Rio into the ropes. A strong shoulder block sends the former luchadore to the mat. Sheamus breaks the tag. Sheamus is sent hard into the corner. Rio comes in to distract Henry, but gets floored. Sheamus connects with the Brogue kick! Morrison runs into the ring and knocks Morrison to the outside with a leg lariat. Morrison slingshots to the outside of the ring with a spinning crossbody. He may have landed badly on his knee. Del Rio locks on his patented arm breaker and Henry taps out! This match is over.
Winners via arm breaker: Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus
Divas Championship Match
Natalya v. Melina
Melina is strong at the start of the match. She goes for a quick cover, but Natalya kicks free. Melina locks on a very strange Full Nelson by contorting her knees around Natalya. The Champ uses her strength to break free. Melina goes for a leg scissors, but Natalya counters into an arm drag. Melina counters a punch, and then goes for a Sharpshooter. Natalya senses the move, and reverses into one of her own. Melina gets absolutely DESTROYED by the maneuver. This match is over. Wow.
Winner via a Crazy Contorting Clutch: Natalya
CM Punk walks into the Nexus locker room and tries to cheer up the troops. He senses that there is low morale. Husky looks down trodden. He asks what will happen if Punk gets eliminated before any member of the New Nexus enters the Rumble. Mason interrupts to say that Punk will not be eliminated. McGillicutty asks about John Cena as the special guest referee. CM points out that it was Wade that has made Cena’s life a living hell. Punk says he is just making the world a better place. He tells the group to have faith.
Josh Mathews is in the back with John Cena. Cena says that he will call the match fairly. Regardless of who wins, he will be eliminating them in the Rumble. Miz interrupts and tells Cena that winning the Rumble will be the worst thing that has ever happened to him. Because it will mean that Cena will have to face Miz. Cena walks away after laughing it off. Miz kicks out Mathews. Riley calls to the production booth to play the clip of Miz and Riley attacking Randy Orton last week.
The Miz w/ Alex Riley v. Edge
Vickie Guerrero & Dolph Ziggler join commentary for the match.
The two square off and are very cautious at the offset of the match. Edge connects with the first punch. Edge slashes at the gut of Miz. He plants him with a running knee, and then a punt to the gut. Miz is pushed into the corner, but escapes before Edge can attack. Edge shakes off the moment, and sets up to square off again. They lock up, and then Edge wrenches the arm of Miz behind his back. Miz slides to a rear defense, but Edge throws him to the outside of the ring.
Back from the break, Miz is able to get behind Edge and apply a choke. Edge breaks free with his elbow, and then connects with a neck breaker. Miz kicks him in the gut, and sends him into the ropes. Edge hits another swinging neck breaker. Miz is on all fours as Edge sets up for the spear. Miz slides out of the ring. Edge runs after him, but Miz kicks him in the injured ribs. Edge scurries free and whips Miz into the guard rail. Edge throws Miz back into the ring.
Edge climbs to the top turnbuckle. Miz follows to counter. Miz scales the ropes and is looking for a Superplex. Miz is countered as Edge punches his ribs. Edge is perched alone as he leaps into the ring for a huge crossbody. Cover attempt, but Miz kicks out. Edge grabs the head of Miz and whips him towards the corner. Edge kicks him in the gut before the referee makes him back off. Miz dodges a splash, and grabs the head Edge. Miz lifts Edge up into the air and drops him midsection first onto the top rope!
Back from the break, Miz is channeling his inner Melina and has Edge trapped in a body scissors. Edge then channels his inner Natalya, and uses brute strength to lift and then drop Miz. Edge attacks the knee of Miz, but gets whipped into the ropes. Edge connects with a duo of clotheslines followed by a side slam. Cover attempt, but Edge kicks outs.
Edge is stranded in the corner as Miz backs up to pick up speed. Miz charges full force towards the corner, but Edge moves out of the way! Edge goes for a quick roll up, but Miz kicks out at the last second. Riley distracts Edge on the outside, which leads to Edge chasing after Miz’s lackey. Miz attempts a roll up as he reenters the ring, but Edge is able to kick out. Edge whips Miz into the ropes, which also knocks Riley to the outside. Edge then plants Miz and is looking for the spear.
Dolph Ziggler runs into the ring and attacks Edge!
Winner via DQ: Edge
Ziggler continues to attack Edge. Orton runs down to the ring and the crowd is going insane. Orton clears out the ring which includes a snap scoop slam on Ziggler. Edge runs out of the ring to chase after Miz. He catches him, and slides back into the ring. Riley is hit with an RKO! Ziggler is hit with an RKO! Miz senses the Viper’s vulnerability and slams his briefcase into the back of Orton’s leg. Miz grabs his belt and runs up the entrance ramp.
Josh Mathews is in the back with Wade Barrett. Wade explains that his obsession with John Cena cost him the Nexus. However, every cloud has a silver lining. Wade is happy as a member of The Corre. He says that the truth is they have no leader. Wade says that he has learned to respect Cena, and hopes that one day Cena
Daniel Bryan & The Bella Twins v. Ted Dibiase, Maryse & Alicia Fox
Bryan and Ted start the match off. They trade a couple of near falls and roll ups. Maryse is tagged into the match, which means that one of the Bellas must enter. Instead, they begin to argue about who should go in “first”. Maryse capitalizes with a roll up, and this match is over.
Winners via Roll Up: Ted Dibiase, Maryse & Alicia Fox
In the back, The Bella Twins are arguing with each other about Daniel Bryan. They enter his locker room to confront him about which one he prefers. When they enter, Daniel is on a couch making out with Gail Kim! Daniel stands up and says that he and Kim have been dating for about six months, they’ve just been trying to keep it quiet. The Bellas ask why Bryan would ever go for somone like Gail. Kim says that she feels bad for the Bellas. Without any guest hosts, they haven’t had anything to do! A cat fight breaks out.
Santino & Kozlov w/ Tamina v. The New Nexus (Harris & McGillicutty)
Santino and Michael start the match. They exchange blows, and then Husky gets the tag. He climbs behind Santino and is looking for a choke. He is able to ground Santino and goes for a cover. Santino kicks out. Husky goes for the same arm bar/chin lock combo that Sheamus used earlier in the evening. Kozlov looks on in desperation as Santino struggles to get to his feet. To prevent the tag, Husky runs to the corner and knocks Kozlov off of the apron. Santino counters with a split, and then looks to pump up the cobra. Michael prevents the cobra, and Husky follows up with a clothesline. Husky hits the stroke, and goes for the cover. This match is over.
Winners via the Stroke: New Nexus
After the match, Jennifer Hudson’s fiancé grabs the microphone. Otunga states that they will be helping CM Punk propel himself to victory at the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Otunga introduces Punk. The New Nexus hold their arms up into the air with the New Nexus fists as they salute their fearless leader.
Cena is shown in the back getting ready to guest referee the match.
Special Guest Referee: John Cena
CM Punk w/ New Nexus v. Wade Barrett w/ The Corre
The first act of Cena as referee of the match is to kick all of the Punk lackeys to the back. The Corre members must head to their locker. Wade looks smug as the odds are clearly in his favor. Cena then turns to The Corre, and kicks them to the back!
Cena turns to Punk and slaps him in the face. Punk can’t hit him back, because he would be disqualified and eliminated from the Rumble. Cena then turns and does the same to Wade. Punk runs over and attacks the back of Wade. He throws Wade to the outside. Cena runs up behind Punk and throws him out of the ring! Punk can’t retaliate for fear of being disqualified. Wade gets back into the ring and hits a strong slam on Punk and goes for the cover. Instead of counting the pin, Cena slides out of the ring and begins to sign autographs for fans. Wade brings him back into the ring and is not happy. Cena says that he, “thought the match was over”. Punk and Wade begin to attack each other again. Both men are on their backs as Cena runs over to Justin Roberts. Cena motions for the bell. He rules the match as a double DQ due to the talent using profane language. This is a PG show after all.
Roberts announces that since both Punk and Wade were disqualified, neither team will compete in the Rumble.
and I quote…
Cena just showed a blatant abuse of his powers. Due to the result, both the New Nexus & Corre will be featured in the Rumble. If Cena does not go back into the ring and apologize, he will not be able to compete in the Rumble!
Cena counters that, “what I did was genius”. However, he takes his shirt off and heads back to the ring. He apologizes to Punk & Wade, but then begins to attack them both! New Nexus and Corre run down to the ring. Cena looks to be vastly outnumbered. The Big Show’s music hits! A cavalry of stars runs down to the ring. Raw goes off the air as a good ole fashioned bRawl breaks out in the ring.
Interesting way to kick off the show. The New Nexus looks pretty solid, but I’m having difficulty appreciating The Corre. I blame the music. If they had a song that wasn’t awful, I might view them as a legitimate force.
Edge flirting with the possibility of destroying the mystery GM’s laptop again was awesome. I’m a sucker for continuity, because it is so rare in the wrestling product.
There is still a brand split, right? Because with so many Smackdown stars appearing on Raw each week, you could have fooled me.
Michael Tarver really creeps me out.
Fun match between Sheamus/Del Rio & Henry/Morrison. Does Morrison scare anybody else? Every time he takes flight I find my breath bated as I wait to see if he can actually land his move. Not in the good way.
Melina/Natalya was solid for the time it was given. Melina got to show a bit of her unique arsenal and DAMN that chick is flexible.
Orton/Miz accomplished its goal. The truth is that people don’t buy the Royal Rumble PPV for the Championship matches, they buy it for the Rumble. So, it makes sense that the NN/Corre/Cena segment would be on the latter part of the show as that is build for the Rumble. One thing is for sure, Randy Orton is flaming. His mere presence lights up the crowd.
The Corre is communist and the New Nexus is a messianic cult? Sounds about right.
Bryan & The Bella Twins v. Ted Dibiase, Maryse & Alicia Fox was pretty short. Not much to say about this one. To whoever decided not to allow Alicia Fox to tag into the match – thank you.
Here is something we can all agree on: the Daniel Bryan/Bella Twin/Gail Kim twist was much better than the twist at the end of ‘Signs’. WATER? REALLY? WATER KILLS THE ALIENS?!?!?!?
There is something about a good old slobber knocker that makes me happy. I can’t wait for the Rumble, and the ending of Raw was the perfect way to make the fans salivate in anticipation.
I actually got a laugh out of Cena’s antics.
Grade wise, I’m going to go with a (B) today. Very nice show.
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
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