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RAW: No Nexus, no problem
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


If you missed Sunday night’s TLC PPV, Monday Night RAW will surely catch you up. And you may even see some matches that also took place the previous night. I love Monday’s after a PPV. Austin, Texas hosts RAW tonight, but we only get two men calling the action tonight. CM Punk and Jerry Lawler take their places at the announce table.

Right off the bat we discover The Miz has retained his WWE Title. The champ heads to the ring to gloat about his win. The lights go out, and Alex Riley walks out as “The Ghost of Christmas Past,” to show Miz the error of his ways. He rolls the clip of Miz’s first title defense against Jerry Lawler. The Miz says he is proud of beating a WWE Hall of Famer, and he doesn’t regret anything. Another spirit visits Miz, it's Michael Cole as “The Ghost of Christmas Present,” who tells Miz he has to change. Miz says the actions of a true champion are defined by one thing: are they still the champion after the match? AS you may have guessed the “Ghost of Christmas Future” appears next. It’s the scowling girl from the night he won title, or I should say an image of her. She tells Miz that John Morrison will beat him for the title. The Miz says he is the future, and the face of the company.

The new number one contender, John Morrison, makes his way to the ring. Morrison says he is surprised how stupid that bit was, but he says he is happy for the Miz’s success. Morrison has beaten him in the past, he can beat him in the present, and he will beat him in the future. Miz says he has always been better, and Alex Riley looks for a cheap shot. Morrison beats him down, as Sheamus hits the ring. He attacks Morrison, and the champ heads for the back. The GM chimes in, as Michael Cole takes his spot at the announce table.

The GM say Miz will collide with opponents from his past, present and future as he teams with Alex Riley and Sheamus to take on Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton, and John Morrison. As The Miz hits the top of the ramp, he is laid out by Randy Orton.

Match #1 – Melina vs. Alicia Fox vs. Eve – Number One Contender Triple Threat Match

Divas Champ Natalya joins Cole and the gang. Alicia gets Melina on her shoulders as Eve looks for a cross body. Melina counters into a Victory Roll on Alicia and dodges Eve. Melina gets the three count for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Melina

Natalya congratulates Melina, who just slaps her and walks out of the ring.

The Bella Twins are fighting over Daniel Bryan again, as both escort him to the ring.

Match #2 – Daniel Bryan w/ The Bella Twins vs. William Regal

Regal takes Bryan to the mat, but he recovers to connect with a drop kick. Bryan kicks Regal into the corner, but then runs into a clothesline. Regal locks onto Bryan’s head, and snaps him over. Regal then delivers a knee to the face. Regal locks in a full Nelson; Bryan breaks free and the two trade punches. Bryan tries to counter an uppercut into a back slide, but Regal blocks it. Regal looks for a suplex, but Bryan counters into the LeBell lock. Regal taps quickly.

Winner via submission: Daniel Bryan

After the match, the Bellas congratulate Daniel in their own special way. Bryan doesn’t know what to do.

Randy Orton visits John Morrison in the back. Orton tells him that if he wins the WWE Title, he is coming for him. Morrison says he’ll be ready.

Elsewhere, Santino is getting a massage from Tamina. Maryse walks in and the two fight on Santino. Vladimir Kozlov and Ted DiBiase have to separate the two.

In other parts of the arena, there is a Gail Kim sighting! She and Mark Henry are talking about how the show feels better without Nexus in the building. He is then interrupted by Vicki Guerrero.

Match #3 – Santino and Tamina vs. Ted DiBiase and Maryse – Mixed Tag Team Match

Santino flips Ted over, but celebrated too much as DiBiase takes him down with a forearm. DiBiase follows with a standing drop kick and then locks in a head lock. Santino breaks free, shoots off the ropes, and takes Ted down with a hip toss. Santino readies the Cobra, but Ted tags in Maryse. She turns the Cobra on Santino, but Tamina runs in with a superkick, and then climbs the turnbuckle. Santino distracts Ted as Tamina hits the Superfly Splash on Maryse. Tamina covers and gets the win.

Winner via pinfall: Santino and Tamina

John Cena is in the house, fresh off of destroying Wade Barrett at TLC. Cena says tonight is epic, because RAW is Nexus free. He then treats us to some footage from last night’s PPV. Cena says he will win the Royal Rumble and go onto to Wrestlemania. He is then interrupted by Vicki Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler.

Vicki points out that Dolph also won last night, but she is shouted down by the crowd. A lot. Cena is cracking up. Vicki tries to tell the crowd that Ziggler is still the Intercontinental Champion, and Vicki has some footage of her own. We see Vicki and Jerry Lawler presenting at the Slammys last week. Vicki wants an apology or Ziggler will beat Lawler up. Lawler and Cena trade insults about Vicki. Ziggler finally puts an end to this nonsense, until Cena tells him to settle down and hurls some more insults. Vicki slaps Cena, and Dolph gets in his face until the GM chimes in.

The GM books Ziggler in a match versus John Cena, right now.

Match #4 – John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler

Cena applies a head lock, but Dolph gets to the ropes to break the hold. Ziggler pounds Cena into the corner, stomping away at him. Cena whips Ziggler across the ring, and hits him with a bulldog. Cena connects with a snap suplex. Ziggler whips Cena hard into the corner, and then kicks him in the chest. Cena kicks out of a pin, and follows with a gut wrench suplex. Ziggler slaps on a reverse chin lock. Cena powers out and sets up the Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler counters with a face buster. Cena kicks out of another pin as we go to commercial.

After the break, Cena drops Ziggler with a side slam. Both men collide going for clothesline, and the ref starts the ten count. Ziggler uses the ropes to pull himself up, and kicks Cena in the gut. Ziggler hits a standing drop kick, but Cena kicks out of the pin. Cena blocks another drop kick, and then connects with the shoulder block, and then a sidewalk slam. The five knuckle shuffle connects, and Cena looks for the AA. Dolph counters into a sleeper, but Cena breaks free and is able to lock in the STF. Vicki jumps on the apron and distracts the ref. Cena thinks the match is over when Dolph taps, but the ref never sees it. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag, but Cena kicks out. Dolph unties the turnbuckle, and with the ref distracted tries to clock Cena with title belt. Cena ducks it, sets up the AA, nails Dolph with it, covers and gets the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Cena

After the bell, as Cena is celebrating, CM Punk hits the ring and attacks Cena with a chair. After a few chair shots, Punk walks up the ramp and into the back.

Josh Matthews gets a word with Punk before he leaves. Punk says he was just giving Cena a taste of his own medicine.

Sheamus tells Lawler that there is only room for one King.

Vicki tells Dolph she is so embarrassed that she didn’t get an apology. Dolph wants Cena in a match tomorrow on Smackdown! Vicki says she can make that happen, and she will be Dolph’s tag team partner.

Match #5 – The Miz, Alex Riley, and Sheamus vs. Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton, and John Morrison

The Miz tags in Alex Riley right away to face Randy Orton. Riley goes for a lock up, but Orton kicks him in the gut, and then drops a knee on his head. Morrison tags in, continuing the assault. The King gets the tag, and he knocks Riley down with a drop kick. Riley smashes Lawler into the corner, and The Miz gets the tag. Lawler drops Miz with right fist, and tags in Orton. Miz scrambles to his corner, tagging is Sheamus, as we go to break.

After the break, Sheamus has Lawler in a world of hurt with an arm bar. King dodges a spear from Sheamus, who catches all ring post. Morrison tags in. He catches Sheamus with a spring board kick. He knocks Riley off the apron, but Sheamus yanks Morrison off the ropes. Miz gets the tag, and focuses on the injured leg of Morrison. Riley tags in, cutting Morrison off from a tag. Riley drags him into the corner, and The Miz goes back to work on the leg. Morrison knocks Miz from the ring, but still can’t get the tag. Sheamus tags in and stomps on Morrison’s knee and then clubs him across the chest. Sheamus locks in a camel clutch and then a single leg Boston crab. The King distracts the ref, allowing Orton to run in and break the hold. Morrison hits an enzuigiri, and gets the tag to Orton, while Sheamus tags in Miz. The Viper drops Miz, and then hits the elevated DDT. Orton covers, but Sheamus breaks the pinfall. Morrison knocks out Sheamus, as Orton stalks Miz. Riley runs in and takes the RKO. Orton is kicked into the corner, where Lawler makes the blind tag. Miz looks for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Orton hits him with the RKO. Lawler covers and gets the three count.

Winner via pinfall: Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton, and John Morrison

After the match, The GM fires off another email. Cole inform us that Smackdown will be live tomorrow and RAW superstars will also appear on the show, as The Miz will take on Randy Orton. The Miz looks for one last shot, but Orton stops him. Miz escapes with some help from Riley. The Miz stares down Orton from the stage as Cole and Matthews push Smackdown!

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