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RAW: Nexus under new management
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


It’s the first Monday Night RAW of 2011 and we get a WWE Championship match, and the real kicker is that the title has a very good chance of changing hands. CM Punk also has some explaining to do, and with an (legitimately) injured John Cena he should get his chance without interruption. Although, Wade Barret can't be to happy that Punk has named himself the leader of Nexus.

Michael Cole starts the show off by addressing the camera. He informs us of John Cena’s injury that was suffered at a house show. Although he says it was an injury sustained last week on RAW and aggravated.

Match #1 – The Miz (champion) w/ Alex Riley vs. John Morrison (challenger) – WWE Title Match – Falls Count Anywhere

As the Miz hits the ring, Cole tells us that Jerry Lawler will not be on the show, due to injuries sustained at the hands of The Miz. Josh Matthews joins Cole at the announce table.

The Miz and Riley attack Morrison on the ramp and the bell rings. Miz takes out his protégé, when Morrison ducks a punch. The challenger takes the fight to the stage, climbing the WWE logo. Morrison takes out Miz and Riley with a cross body. Miz crawls down the ramp, and Morrison tosses him back into the ring.

The champ recovers, taking out Morrison with a clothesline. Miz sets him up on the turnbuckle, but cannot deliver the superplex. Morrison knocks him to the mat, but cannot get the pin.

Morrison reverses a short arm clothesline, answering with a spin kick. Morrison covers, but Riley breaks the pin. That earns him a beating from the challenger. Morrison sets Riley on the security barrier, hitting him with the running knee. Riley is out and the ref calls for medical help. We go to commercial.

After the break, Miz and Morrison are brawling near the stage. Miz sets up a metal barrier, looking for a suplex. Morrison blocks and counters, but Miz also blocks it. Morrison runs at Miz, who is able to backdrop him onto the metal. Miz covers, but only gets a two count.

Miz slams Morrison into the stage, but still can’t get the cover. Miz tosses Morrison down the ramp, and hooks the leg. Morrison kicks out. Miz drills the challenger with a stage light, but still cannot get the pin. Morrison is tossed back into the ring, and gathers himself. Morrison decks Miz, and starts to pummel the champ. He lands a clothesline and a heel kick. Morrison follows with a side Russian leg sweep, and looks for Starship Pain. Morrison aborts the move as The Miz rolls away. The champ hits a back breaker and follows with a neck breaker. Miz charges into the corner, but Morrison side steps and the champ catches the ring post. Morrison goes up top and connects on Starship Pain. The challenger covers, but The Miz kicks out.

Morrison knocks the champ out of the ring with kick, and sets him on a table. The challenger climbs the turnbuckle, but Miz rolls away and Morrison crashes and burns with the Starship through a table. Miz covers, but Morrison kicks out. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on the floor and covers once again. The ref counts to three and The Miz retains the WWE Title.

Winner via pinfall ... and still WWE Champion: The Miz

The WWE has a new backstage reporter, Scott Stanford. He gets a word with The Miz. The champ says he will go down in history as the best champ ever. He finishes with his awesome shtick.

Match #2 – Melina, Maryse, and Alicia Fox vs. Natalya, Eve, and Brie Bella – 6 Diva Tag Team Match

Brie gets knocked to the floor, and pulls the ol' switch-a-roo with her sister. Nikki hits Maryse with a face buster, but Alicia breaks up the pin. Natalya softens up Melina for Eve, who hits her with a neck breaker and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Natalya, Eve, and Brie Bella

Match #3 – The Usos vs. Santino and Vladimir Kozlov w/ Tamina

After a failed low bridge, Jey tosses Vladimir from the ring, and Santino knocks him out. This allows Jimmy to hit Santino with a Samoan drop and gets the pin.

Winner via pinfall: The Usos

After the bell, Vladimir takes out The Usos, allowing Tamina and Santino to hit Jey with a double cobra.

If you haven’t heard Tough Enough is coming back.

CM Punk makes his way to the ring, hopefully to explain why he did what he did last week. Punk says he loves being in Phoenix, he spent most of the day searching for John Cena, but he can’t see him. Cena is not in the building because of Punk. He says he is a leader of men, which is why Nexus begged him to take over. Punk says he lives his life by hustle, loyalty, and respect, while to Cena it’s just a catchphrase. Punk says he know expects that from Nexus, and expects Cena to stay at home. Cena can’t win this fight. Punk is going to take over Monday Night Raw. The (former) leader of Nexus, Wade Barrett walks out, saying he is the one that destroyed Cena. And that Punk is not the leader of Nexus. Punk says Nexus needs new management. Wade calls him a waste of skin and a liar. Punk can’t believe what he is hearing. Punk wants to settle this right now, and wants to ask the members of Nexus.

The rest of Nexus hit the ring. David Otunga gets in between the two, when the RAW GM interrupts. Cole reads the email, and I paraphrase, there will be three participants in a number one contender steel cage match. Punk or Barrett will face Sheamus and Randy Orton. Barrett says he is the leader, so the spot is his. Punk tells him to go ahead; he wants to talk things out. If Barrett wins that will prove to Punk that he is the rightful leader of Nexus, but if he loses he is out of Nexus. Barrett takes the deal.

Match #4 – Alberto Del Rio vs. R Truth

Before the match, Del Rio officially introduces himself to the RAW audience. He says his destiny is to become the World Heavyweight Champion, destroy everyone on Smackdown, and win the Royal Rumble. Truth says it’s time to send this guy back to Smackdown and smacks him.

Truth floats over Del Rio in the corner, and answers with a heel kick. Truth sends him over the ropes, and then catapults himself into Del Rio. We go to commercial.

After the break, Truth is pummeling Del Rio in the corner. Del Rio catches himself of the ropes, and kicks Truth in the head. He starts to work on the arm of Truth.

Truth side steps Del Rio and he crashes to the floor. Truth hits a series of clotheslines, and follows with an arm drag take over. Del Rio rolls to the apron, and smashes Truth into the ring post. Del Rio locks in the cross arm breaker and Truth taps out.

Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio

Wade Barrett tries to drum up support among the Nexus. Otunga wants him and Punk to work it out. Punk walks in, wishing Barrett the best of luck. Punk then shakes hands with each member of Nexus.

Scott Stanford is with Randy Orton, who says he was starting to be too nice last year, and that’s about to change.

Match #5 – Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus – Number One Contender Triple Threat Steel Cage Match

The only way to win is to escape. Barrett makes a break for it; Orton and Sheamus quickly pull him to the mat. Orton beats on Barrett and Sheamus runs off. Orton quickly reins him in. Barrett boots Orton in the head, and looks for Wasteland. Orton counters and scurries up the cage. He is caught by Orton and Sheamus, who stomps on him in the corner. Barrett starts to climb, and Sheamus brings him back in. Sheamus starts to climb, but Orton catches him, and takes him down with a clothesline. He hits Sheamus and looks to the open door. Orton can’t make it, so he drops into a defensive position, and we go to break.

After the commercial, Orton is almost over the cage. Sheamus holds onto him long enough for Barrett to lend a hand. Orton smashes Barrett into the cage, and then kicks Sheamus into it. He sets Sheamus up for the elevated DDT, but doesn’t hit it, as Barrett made a break for the top. Orton catches him and tries to hit both men with the DDT. Sheamus counters into a back drop the sends Orton into the cage. Barrett beats Orton into the corner, and then fights with Sheamus. Barrett whips the King into the corner, and starts to climb. Orton slips, but is still able to catch him. Orton runs into the Irish Curse back breaker from Sheamus, who then smashes Barrett into the cage. Sheamus follows with a power slam, and makes his way to the cage door. Orton grabs him by the ankle. Sheamus kicks him off and starts to climb. Barrett cuts him off, and bounces him off the cage walls. Orton gets to his feet, but is met with a side slam from Barrett. Wade starts to climb, but Sheamus catches him at the top. Barrett fights Sheamus off, and drops an elbow from the top rope. Sheamus gets his knees up, and Barrett is down. Orton fires out of the corner with a clothesline and a scoop slam to Sheamus. He nails a back suplex, and then hits Barrett with the elevated DDT. Orton runs into a boot from Sheamus, who climbs the ring. Orton is able to pull him down. Barrett knocks Sheamus and Orton to the mat, and starts to climb the cage, but only uses one arm. CM Punk runs down, climbs the cage, and offers Barrett a hand. Punk rips the Nexus arm band off Barrett, and knocks him back into the ring. Sheamus decks Orton, and hits Barrett with the bicycle kick. The King walks to the door, but also walks into an RKO. Orton slips through the ropes, and walks out the door to become the number one contender. Orton will face The Miz at the Royal Rumble.

Winner via escape: Randy Orton

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