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Raw: The invasion continues(?)
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


No time for witty repartee tonight folks, as we lead off with the hottest angle WWE has done in years.

Wade Barrett is in the middle of the ring for the start of the live action after being ordered by Bret Hart to apologize for what took place last week. He then invites the NXTers to the ring, of course, minus Daniel Bryan. Interestingly, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and Justin Roberts leave the ringside area before the “apologies” commence.

Each NXTer takes the opportunity to say they’re not sorry. Barrett explains the guys were treated like animals, and they started behaving like animals, and they were victimized by Superstars and management. Barrett continues a strong promo (again not mentioning Bryan) before Hart comes out. Bryan is then mentioned in the interchange and says Bryan had remorse for what happened, and thus will never be seen again. Yup, it’s a work.

Hart comments that Cena will still be in Sunday’s fatal fourway match. Barrett doesn’t care and says that he and his crew have demands, including WWE contracts, private dressing rooms and first class travel. David Otunga comments that if they don’t get what they want, more destruction will happen. Hart refuses to honour their demands and says Barrett’s guaranteed title match, and him are gone. Hart then threatens that the police will escort all the NXTers out. Then the show goes to commercial... the hell?

Match 1 – R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. Zack Ryder vs. The Miz (US Title)

Truth was sounding pretty gassed as he was rapping. Just saying.

Move of the bout, and possibly the year, saw Morrison do a Sunset Powerbomb, taking Miz to the floor, or more accurately, into Ryder. Awesome! Later, Truth, Ryder and Morrison do a Tower of Doom spot. Truth later seems to have the W with the Cyclone Scissor Kick, but Miz breaks it up. Later he hits the Lie Detector to no win. In the end, Miz sneaks out the victory after Morrison hit Starship Pain on Truth. Very well constructed match here.

Winner (and new US Champ): The Miz

Backstage, Josh Mathews asks Randy Orton about his shoulder, which Randy no sells. Orton is then asked about NXT, Orton says he has respect for the boys, but also says they’re punks and they deserve to be fired, but got off lucky.

Back from break, Mark Feuerstein is hanging with Los Bellas until Ted DiBiase Jr. and Virgil walk in. DiBiase tries to buy his way into buying guest host. Show enters the picture and makes the two hosts vs. Dibiase and Virgil as a match tonight. Feh.

Match 2 – Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne

Decent little match that sees Bourne kick out of the Codebreaker at one point. This sends Jericho over the edge and causes Jericho to be DQ’d due to not listening to the ref’s warning.

Winner: Evan Bourne (DQ)

Post-match, Jericho continues the beating until Bourne fights back and eventually hits the Shooting Star Press.

John Cena is next out to the ring and talks about the NXT attack, while also pandering to the crowd. He says that after Fatal 4 Way he wants them in the ring again. Soon after, the NXTers come back to the ringside area. Lawler, Bourne, Santino, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Edge, Sheamus and William Regal come out to fend off the attack and chase the NXTers backstage and straight out of the building. I get the feeling, though, that this isn’t over for the night.

Back from break, Sheamus is cornered in the hallway by Mathews about helping Cena.

Match 3 – Gail Kim/Eve Torres vs. Alicia Fox vs. Maryse

A Fatal Four-Way bout is announced for the Divas belt between Eve, Gail Kim, Alicia Fox and Maryse before tonight’s match starts.

Standard short Divas match that ends with Eve getting the Three-handled, Moss-covered Credenza on Alicia (4 points for whomever knows the reference).

Winners: Gail/Eve

Before we go backstage to look at Feuerstein and Show prepping for their match, we find out that Miz and Truth will meet at Fatal Four-Way for the U.S. title.

Match 4 – Big Show/Mark Feuerstein vs. Ted DiBiase/Virgil

As bad as you’d expect. Virgil takes the brunt of the abuse, before Feuerstein gets the pin following The Worm and a Bionic Elbow. Bad comedy match but at least it wasn’t an active Superstar taking the fall.

Winners: Show/Feuerstein

Post-match, DiBiase, shoves a hundred dollar bill in Virgil’s throat, then takes it back before he leaves the ring.

Match 5 – William Regal vs. Santino Marella (Special Guest: Vladimir Kozlov)

Quick match with a fast count and holding the tights for good measure win for Santino.

Winner: Santino

Post-match, Hart comes out and asks the three superstars and the rest of the locker room to come out.

Match 6 - Sheamus/Edge vs. Randy Orton/John Cena

Standard WWE main event tag team match. Someone needs to do a new formula for a bit to mix it up, so I can start watching these bouts with interest again.

Just as Cena starts his Five Moves of Doom though, we pan back to the NXT guys tearing apart the backstage area and dragging Bret Hart around and then throwing him into a limo which drives around like a maniac, bashing into cars and the like. Eventually, Hart is pulled from the wreckage beat to all hell (though not bloody), with Barrett demanding that he know by Sunday whether he and the boys have contracts or not.

Nice way to end the show, and really this was a bit unpredictable. The odd thing is, though, that we go into the PPV this weekend with the focus on an outside angle. Still, it’s some of the best work on WWE TV in a decade, so really this is worth sacrificing a PPV for.

Oh, and we don’t get a cut back to the ring, so let’s just call the last bout a no contest.

Jon Waldman is celebrating a decade with SLAM! Wrestling. How should he cap off his year? Let him know by emailing him here.