October 12, 2010
Raw: Team Raw assembles while Cena stews
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
The Nexus storyline that looked like it might have already run out of gas a few weeks ago got a new boost of momentum after John Cena was added as an unwilling member. The anguished superstar is sure to be in the thick of things again tonight as Raw rolls into Seattle.
Sure enough, Cena is the first person to make an appearance at the top of the show, heading to the ring while garnering his usual mixed reaction. Sporting the Nexus armband along with his current purple and yellow merchandise, he thanks the fans, appreciative of the fact that some still believe in him. Cena claims that fans were chanting “Never give up” last Monday, and he promises that he won’t, even if everyone has to see him doing things he’d rather not do. The stakes are too high if he doesn’t obey Wade Barrett, since he’ll be fired from the WWE. Still, he felt it was worth the risk to try to take care of Nexus once and for all.
Any further thoughts on the matter will have to wait, as The Miz and Alex Riley step between the ropes. Miz announces that he has taken it upon himself to captain Team Raw at Bragging Rights, and since he doesn’t judge people personally, he offers Cena a spot on the team. Cena likes that idea but would rather head up the squad himself. Wade Barrett arrives to squash that notion, telling Cena he has to save his energy for working Barrett’s corner for the title match against Randy Orton. Cena says he can do both, but Riley warns him about overextending himself since The Miz could choose that night to cash in his Money in the Bank title shot. Miz chides his charge about ruining the element of surprise as the email alert sound goes off. Raw’s sentient computer GM announces via Michael Cole that it has arranged a series of matches for tonight, with the winners earning spots on Team Raw. As for the captain spot, Miz and Cena will wrestle each other tonight for that honor. Miz decides to get in Barrett’s face, receiving a head butt for his trouble. Miz and Riley beat down Barrett until the Nexus leader calls for help from Cena. He sends Miz running and nails Riley with an Attitude Adjustment. An irritated Barrett lays into Cena in the ring, though we can’t hear what’s being said.
Match 1 – Ted DiBiase vs. R-Truth – Winner Joins Team Raw
Truth’s new entrance theme is better than his last one, though that’s a dubious distinction. Cole is upset that Jerry Lawler says Goldust “allegedly” stole DiBiase’s Million Dollar Championship belt since the Bizarre One was carrying it around on NXT. Silly Cole – no one watches NXT! Goldust does prove Cole to be correct since he shows up on stage with the belt, distracting DiBiase. Truth uses the Lie Detector to win his way onto Team Raw.
Match 2 – John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd – Winner Joins Team Raw
Cole says this was supposed to be a Triple Threat Match, but Kidd’s partner David Hart Smith is nowhere to be found. Kidd has the coolest spot when he leaps onto the second rope to deliver a Russian leg sweep, but Morrison is able to pull a move out of nowhere to get the pinfall.
David Otunga is interrogating two men backstage about their actions last week on the behalf of Barrett. My producer is telling me in my earpiece that their names are Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty, but that can’t be right. It is? Next you’re going to tell me there’s a guy named Lucky Cannon too. Anyway, Barrett steps in and basically tells Otunga to mind his own business. Barrett suggests that Otunga soften up Orton tonight, but Otunga cannily offers that Justin Gabriel’s 450 splash would do a lot more damage. Gabriel agrees to face Orton, with Barrett telling Otunga and Heath Slater that they would be in Gabriel’s corner.
Match 3 – Santino Marella vs. Zack Ryder – Winner Joins Team Raw
This is a quick one. Santino wins by using The Cobra to strike down Ryder. Santino on Team Raw? Interesting.
Orton is on his way to the ring. He’s got a very Viper-ish look on his face.
Match 4 – Justin Gabriel vs. Randy Orton
Gabriel can do a lot of cool things in the ring, but he’s missing a little ... fluidity sometimes. It almost looks like he’s thinking through sequences of moves instead of just doing them. Otunga and Slater don’t last long on the outside, earning the referee’s wrath for trying to rough up Orton and getting sent to the back. Gabriel is rolling after a springboard somersault senton, but that’s only good for two. He gets his opening for the 450 splash, which ends up looking weird because Orton tries to roll away and doesn’t quite make it. The guy sells it well, though, and Orton nails an RKO to seal up the victory.
A preview is shown for the movie Knucklehead, which looks silly but may have some laughs in it. It’s nice to see Big Show cast in a comedic role. The movie is apparently showing this weekend as a limited engagement in theaters, which I suppose saves it from the stigma of going straight to DVD. As an aside, the Monday Night Football game between the Vikings and Jets is currently being played in a monsoon.
Match 5 – Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus – Winner Joins Team Raw
Seriously, I’m going to have to watch this match with the sound on mute. Cole’s heel bashing of Bryan is so old and nonsensical if they aren’t going to go anywhere with it. Bryan makes it a pretty even contest with Sheamus, using kicks and quickness to keep the big man at bay. Bryan hits a missile dropkick for a near fall, but he’s soon felled by a massive double axe handle. Sheamus goes for the High Cross only to see Bryan roll through for another pinning attempt. The last laugh still goes to the Celtic Warrior, as he nails the Brogue Kick to take his place on Team Raw.
R-Truth, of all people, has a heart to heart with Cena on behalf of the rest of the guys in the back. He is having a hard time believing that Cena will take him out if Barrett gives him the word. Truth says he knows Cena is in a tough spot, but there is another way out: just quit. We also see a video showcasing the Tribute to the Troops shows, the kind of thing the WWE always does well.
Match 6 – Evan Bourne vs. CM Punk – Winner Joins Team Raw
Punk is here as the compensation for Raw losing Edge to Smackdown, which strikes me as a pretty fair trade. Bourne has a shot to go for Air Bourne but ends up crotched on the top rope. Punk connects with a GTS for the win. After the match, Punk decides to continue the pain on the outside, driving Bourne into the post and locking in the Anaconda Vice on the floor. The refs have to band together to convince Punk to break the hold.
I can’t decide if I dislike Laycool because they are effective heels or because they just aren’t that good. Layla and Michelle McCool get into a verbal battle with Natalya, comparing her looks with those of her dad, The Anvil. She responds by saying Laycool’s IQs are smaller than their waist sizes. Naturally, the girls take that as a compliment. The champs try to leave but are intercepted by a bunch of other Divas, none of whom like them very much. Layla ends up in the Sharpshooter in the ring, but McCool pulls her to safety and they scamper off through the crowd.
Main Event – The Miz vs. John Cena – No DQ Match, Winner Captains Team Raw
Riley is still on hand to support The Miz, and he gets in an early cheap shot on the outside. We’re off to a final commercial break. They’re battling on top of the announce table when we return, and both men escape each other’s finishers. Miz knocks Cena off the table into the barrier. Cena clears out the cobwebs and rallies in the ring with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Miz escapes an Attitude Adjustment and hits a kick to the head for a near fall, then a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for another. Riley slides the briefcase in, but Cena ducks the ensuing shot and uses a drop toehold to set up the STF. Riley comes in, so Cena locks him in the STF instead. Miz recovers just as Harris and McGillicutty hit the ring. The latter hits the McGillicutter (yes, that’s really what it’s called), leaving Cena easy pickings for Miz to cover and have his hand raised in victory.
We know Miz will be the captain of Team Raw, but one spot on the team has yet to be filled. Looks like it will stay empty for now as we’re almost done for the night. Harris and McGillicutty attempt to attack Cena, who tries to fight back before he’s stopped by Barrett. Cena gets in Barrett’s grill just as the computer calls again. Cole announces that if Harris and McGillicutty want to involve themselves in matches, they should do so officially. Next week, the two of them will form a tag team to tangle with Cena and Orton. Barrett adds his own little twist by saying that if Cena loses, Harris and McGillicutty will officially be asked to join Nexus, and so he’s certain Cena will do the right thing. Barrett also tries to goad Cena into attacking him, calling him pathetic and a coward and even turning his back. The crowd boos as Cena slumps off dejectedly, with Barrett still in the ring saying Cena can’t see him. And that’s all folks.
Nick Tylwalk is thinking of forming his own Nexus splinter group to shake up the status quo at his day job. To tell him why this would be a bad idea, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk.