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RAW: Cena pushes Nexus, Barrett to the breaking point
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Remember when Michael Cole cost Jerry Lawler the WWE Title? Oh yea, that was only last week. Will tonight feature the most awkward announcing team ever? Will Cole even show up for work? Will the King just knock him out and be done with it? And what about CM Punk? We will find out shortly as Monday Night RAW starts in Louisville, Kentucky.

Of course we start off with a recap of last weekís main event.

We arenít held in suspense long, as Punk and Lawler are the only ones at the announce position. Punk thinks King would have won if it wasnít for Cole, who just happens to walk out on stage. He is going to try to explain his actions. Cole says he doesnít know why he did what he did. Cole says the last week has been traumatic, due to the hate mail he has received. Cole says he is the only one who supported the Miz when he started, and Miz is like a son to him. Cole says he got caught up in the moment, and he deeply regrets it.

Lawler is expecting an apology for costing him the title. All Cole says is he regrets his action and he made a mistake. Lawler wants to finish what he started last week, but Cole just wants to talk, and says Lawler is also to blame. Cole says they are supposed to report the news, not make it. He accuses Lawler of stealing the spotlight from the Miz. Cole wants an apology. The King heads to the ring, only to be interrupted by the GM. Punk reads the email. If Lawler and Cole fight each other, they are fired. The GM wants Lawler to shake hands with Cole. The King reluctantly shakes hands with the man who betrayed him, but he doesnít let go. King knows someone in the back that wants to talk: Randy Orton.

The Viper heads to the ring, and Cole canít escape the clutch of the King. Orton wants Cole to deliver a message to the Miz -- he doesnít blame him for cashing in the Money in the Bank. Orton would have done the same, but Orton can also back up what he says in the ring. The Viper says he is going to take back the WWE Title, tonight.

The current WWE champ has something to say about that. The Miz and Alex Riley stand atop ramp. Miz says Orton sounds like everyone else who is underestimating him. AS for winning the title back tonight, thatís not going to happen. The RAW GM has said the he doesnít have to defend the title until the Pay per View, where Orton will lose. Orton wants to know which seven guys will come to the ring and beat him down before the match, and Alex Riley doesnít count. Riley takes offense and challenges Orton to a match. Orton takes him up on the offer. The Miz says he gets to pick the type of match at TLC.

Orton says despite the injured knee there is still one thing he can do really well. The Viper strikes and drops Cole with an RKO in the middle of the ring.

After the commercials, Josh Matthews joins The King and CM Punk at the announce position.

Match #1 Ė Ted DiBiase and Maryse vs. Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella Ė Mixed Tag Match

Backstage, Nikki Bella doesnít seem to happy that her sister is teaming with Bryan.

Bryan and DiBiase face off to start, but Maryse gets and tag and Brie has to enter the ring. Nikki comes to ringside to support her sister. Brie with a school girl, and Ted breaks the pin. Bryan dropkicks Ted from the ring, as Nikki switches spots with her sister. Nikki feigns injury and then quickly rolls up Maryse and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella

After the match, Maryse gives DiBiase the face palm and walks off.

Wade Barrett is going to join us live via satellite from a nearby hotel to address the John Cena situation. Barrett isnít there, though. We get David Otunga, who says his boss is on the way to the arena. Otunga doesnít want to reveal the Nexus plans, but says they will stay united. Room service arrives, and Otunga yells at the poor guy before kicking him out. Thereís another knock at the door, but this time itís (you guessed it), John Cena. Otunga takes a shot but then slips out of the room, so Cena just destroys Husky Harris instead.

Match #2 Ė David Hart Smith vs. Tyson Kidd

Kidd has some backup has he heads to the ring. Smith takes it to Kidd early, but then misses and leg drop. Kidd stomps Smith into the corner, and then locks in a surfboard. Smith breaks the hold, and connects with an suplex. Kidd goes up top, but Smith catches him and hits a delayed suplex off the middle turnbuckle. Kidd kicks out. In the corner, Kidd tries to float over, but Smith catches him. Kidd fights free, and is able to get the pin with a roll up.

Winner via pinfall: Tyson Kidd

After the match, Smith attacks Kidd, but the bodyguard steps in and puts a hurting on DH.

Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater are scared. Otunga runs into the locker room, and tells Wade his plan didnít work. Barrett blames the execution, and tells Gabriel and Slater to go to the ring and defend their titles. Barrett tells Otunga to watch him take care of business when he calls out Cena. Otunga says there could be a mutiny on his hands.

Match #3 Ė Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater (champions) vs. Santino and Vladimir (challengers) vs. The Usos w/ Tamina (challengers) vs. Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu (challengers) Ė WWE Tag Team Title Match Ė Fatal Four-way Elimination

Tatsu and Gabriel start off thing off, as Tatsu ducks a kick and chops Gabriel into the ropes. He follows with a spinning heel kick. Slater tags in and Tatsu gets him in an arm bar. Henry gets the tag, and Slater tags in one of the Usos. Jey and Jimmy argue over who should enter, so Henry brings in Jey the hard way. Tatsu tags back in, only to be double teamed by the Usos. Slater makes a blind tag, hits Tatsu with Sweetness and covers for the pin.

Eliminated via pinfall: Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu

The Usos quickly jump in and put pressure on the champs. Jey hits a Samoan Drop, but Gabriel breaks the pin. Slater tags Vladimir before get knocked out of the ring. Kozlov hits Jimmy with a spine buster. He covers and get the pin.

Eliminated via pinfall: the Usos

Tamina stays at ringside, even though the Usos were eliminated. Gabriel kicks Vlad in the back of the knee, and goes for the pin. Vlad kicks out. Slater gets the tag, and stomps away at Kozlov. Santino gets the tag, hitting a snap suplex. Slater tags out and Gabriel connects with a thrust kick. Santino hits another snap mare, but it doesnít slow the champs down. We go to commercial.

After the break, Gabriel has a front face lock on Vladimir. He breaks the hold and tags in Santino. He ducks a kick from Gabriel and hits a hip toss. A head butt stuns Gabriel, but Slater breaks the fall. Kozlov takes out Slater, when Cena slides out from under the ring. Gabriel is distracted enough to allow Santino to hit the Cobra and get the pin.

Winner via pinfall and new Tag Team Champions: Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov

After the match, Tamina plants a kiss on Santino as they celebrate in the ring.

The 2010 King of the Ring, Sheamus, is introduced. (He doesnít look like a king, but a bad World of Warcraft player.) Sheamus says he restored credibility to the crown, especially since he ended the career of Triple H, The King of Kings. Sheamus then gives us a history lesson of the Irish crown. Sheamus says he will be remembered as the greatest King ever.

John Morrison walks out, saying Sheamus could use some creatures like a gnome or elf. Sheamus says Morrison is jealous, and he is the better man. Sheamus wants Morrison to refer to him as the High King and set an example to the subjects. He wants Morrison to bow to his king. Morrison isnít going for that, ever. Sheamus slaps him. Morrison punches Sheamus and knocks him from the ring. The King tries to fight back, but gets thrown through his throne for his effort.

Match #4 Ė Natalya vs. Melina Ė Non-Title match

Michelle McCool and Layla join the announce booth. Natalya applies the Sharp Shooter and Melina taps.

Winner via submission: Natalya

After the bell, McCool and Layla hit the ring. Layla grabs Natalya as McCool hits her with a clothesline. (A weak clothesline.)

The Miz gives his apprentice some advice, well not so much advice, but just brags about how many media outlets are covering him. Miz says he is going to show Orton what type of match they are going to have.

Match #5 Ė Randy Orton vs. Alex Riley

Riley stomps away at Ortonís injured knee. He follows with a knee breaker. Riley keeps up the pressure on the knee, but Orton punches Riley in the head. Orton connects with a suplex. Riley misses a clothesline and Orton counters with an inverted atomic drop. Riley rolls to the apron, but Orton picks him up and is planted with a DDT from the middle rope. Orton stalks his prey, but Miz jumps in and hits the Skull Crushing Finale.

Winner via disqualification: Randy Orton

The Miz tells Orton he is about to show him what kind of match they will have. Miz grabs a table and sets it up in the ring. The champ picks up Orton, but Orton fights back, scooping up the champ. The Miz slips out of the grasp, and runs from the ring. Orton turns his attention to Riley, powerbombing him through the table.

Wade Barrett tell Otunga to get the rest of the guys.

Barrett heads to the ring and calls out John Cena, while the rest of Nexus stands atop the stage. Barrett admits he got it wrong, he thought Cena was a man of his word. The stipulation was free or fired, not free or show up on RAW whenever you want. Barrett says Cena has no honor or integrity. The problem with Cenaís plan is that Barrett will never re-hire him. Barrett wants Cena to come to the ring, but if he steps out of line the Nexus will beat him down.

Barrett tells Cena that he will never rehire him. Cena says being fired isnít that bad, despite not being a superstar he is part of the WWE Universe. He still has friends in the back, and he can buy tickets to RAW, and tailgate with the rest of WWE fans. Cena says he also has a lot of time to think, like thinking of ways to destroy the Nexus. Cena says he is content staying fired and making the lives of every Nexus member miserable. Cena couldnít care less if he is rehired; heís going to party with the fans.

Barrett says he isnít intimidated, but if he were to re-hire him what assurances would Barrett have that the attacks would stop. Cena says he could compete for the WWE Title, and the attacks on Nexus will stop, but not the attacks on Barrett. Cena lectures him on honor and respect, and they could settle their issues tonight.

Cena says if he isnít rehired, he will get Barrett, every day. Barrett calls that a threat, and calls for the Nexus to attack. They donít move. Barrett yells some more, Husky Harris walks off, then Slater and Gabriel. Finally Otunga walks out, and Cena strikes. He slams Barrett into the ring steps, and clears the announce table. Cena picks Barrett up, but Barrett slips out of the hold and runs off to the back.

Barrett chews out Nexus, but Otunga tells him this is an ultimatum. Hire John Cena back or lose the Nexus.

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003.