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COMMENT





RAW: Punk, Barrett battle for the Royal Rumble
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


John Cena dares CM Punk to hit him. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea



We are less than one week away from my favorite Pay Per View, the Royal Rumble. And this year WWE is super sizing the Rumble match to 40 participants. My question is this, are there actually 40 superstars that could compete in the match, after you take out those wrestling in title matches? We’ll find out tonight, as Monday Night RAW comes to us from Detroit.

Edge, the World Heavyweight Champion from Smackdown kicks off the show. The champ says he doesn’t like waiting, so he wants WWE Champion, The Miz, to come on down for their match. The RAW GM doesn’t like that much, and fires off an email. Michael Cole quotes the GM as scheduling that match for later, so instead Edge will have to face three superstars in an over the top rope challenge. And whoever eliminates Edge gets the last entry spot into the Rumble.

Match #1 – Edge vs. Tyson Kidd, Jack Swagger and Drew McIntyre

Kidd gets tossed, Edge spears Swagger as soon as he enters the ring, and quickly tosses him. McIntyre follows soon after.

Winner: Edge

Edge thanks the GM for getting him warmed up, and says he has something else to do. Edge is going to smash the GM computer, again, but Cole holds him off long enough for CM Punk and Nexus to show up.

Punk says in this world only the strong survive, because they evolve. Punk introduces the newest member of Nexus, Mason Ryan, who only has one thing to say, faith. Punk takes a shot at Cena, and The Corre, a Nexus knock off. Punk says he will win the Rumble and the Nexus will become the most powerful faction the WWE has ever seen.

The Corre, led by Wade Barrett, head to the ring. (If you are not watching Smackdown Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Ezekiel Jackson round out the group.) Zeke gets in Mason’s face, when the GM interrupts, saying the Smackdown superstars have to play by his rules. Tonight, Wade Barrett will face CM Punk, and whoever loses will be out of the Rumble. Also the special guest referee for this match will be none other than John Cena.

Match #2 – John Morrison and Mark Henry vs. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio stomps Morrison into the corner, and then bounces his head off the turnbuckle before tagging in Sheamus. Morrison takes Sheamus down with a head scissors and then a drop kick. Del Rio tags back in, and Morrison takes him down with a side Russian leg sweep. Sheamus pulls his partner out of the ring, saving him from a springboard move from Morrison. We go to commercial.

After the break, Del Rio has Morrison in a head lock. Sheamus tags in, takes a second to pose, and we see former Nexus member Michael Tarver in the back. Sheamus goes for a chin lock, and then drops a knee across Morrison’s head. The King goes back to the chin lock/arm bar. Morrison escapes, only to get kneed in the back. Sheamus misses a big kick, and Morrison catches him with a kick to the temple. Mark Henry finally gets the tag, but Sheamus also tags in Del Rio. Henry plants him with a slam, but Sheamus breaks up the pin. Henry decks Sheamus, and then hits a clothesline on Del Rio. Sheamus connects on a bicycle kick to Henry, but is then taken out by Morrison, who the corkscrews over the top rope to crash into Sheamus. Del Rio takes advantage of the chaos, and locks in the cross arm breaker. Henry taps out.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio

Match #3 – Natalya vs. Melina – Diva’s Championship Match

Natalya counters a leg drop into a sharp shooter, and Melina taps.

Winner via submission: Natalya

After the bell, Lay Cool walks out on stage. Michelle informs Nattie that they never got their title rematch, so they are cashing it in for Sunday at the Rumble.

David Otunga is worried that they could lose their Rumble spots. CM Punk says last week he sacrificed himself, so this Sunday they will sacrifice their chances to win so Punk can triumph. Husky Harris has a question, what if Punk is the number one entrant, and gets eliminated before they get there. Mason says that won’t happen. Punk tells his guys not to worry about Cena, because the better man will win, and Punk is that man. He tells his troops to have faith.

Josh Matthews asks Cena about being the ref. Cena says he will do the ring thing, and if Punk wins, Cena will eliminate him and the Nexus. The Miz and Alex Riley interrupt the interview. Miz says he sent a message to anyone who would choose to face him after winning the Rumble. Cena dares Miz to give him a beating, Miz says not yet. Cena lays out a scenario where Miz doesn’t make it to Wrestlemania with the title. The champ tells Matthews to split, and they roll footage of the Miz beating on Randy Orton.

Match #4 – The Miz w/ Alex Riley vs. Edge

Before the match can begin, Edge’s opponent at the Rumble, Dolph Ziggler joins the announce position with Vikki Guerrero.

Edge dodges a kick from Miz and knocks him down with a punch. Edge drops the WWE champ with a back elbow, and then head butts him into the corner. Miz fights his way out, but misses on another kick. Edge applies a hammer lock, and then knocks the Miz to the floor with a clothesline over the top rope. We go to commercial.

After the break, Miz kicks out of pin, and then drives a knee into the gut of Edge. Miz applies a chin lock, and slams Edge to mat as he tried to break free. Edge hits a swinging neck breaker, and looks for the spear. Miz rolls out of the ring to avoid the hit. Edge follows to the floor, whipping Miz into the security barrier.

Back in the ring, Miz catches Edge climbing the turnbuckle, but cannot pull off the superplex. Miz is knocked to the mat, and Edge hits a flying cross body. Miz kicks out of the pin. Miz avoids a charge in the corner, and then drops Edge over the ropes. We go to another break.

After another break, Miz is beating on Edge in the middle of the ring. The ref separates them, but Miz goes after the injured ribs of Edge. Miz locks in a body scissors. Miz gets to his feet, hitting a back suplex. Edge connects on a one man flap jack. The Heavyweight champs build momentum with clotheslines. Miz drives Edge into the corner, ramming his shoulder into the injured ribs. Edge dodges a clothesline, and nearly gets the pin after Miz gets caught in the ropes. Edge goes after Alex Riley, allowing Miz to make a pin. Edge kicks out, and then knocks Riley off the apron. Edge plants Miz, and looks for the spear. Dolph Ziggler grabs Edge, and the ref calls for the bell. Ziggler drops Edge with the Zig Zag, as Randy Orton hits the ring. He drops Ziggler and pounds on the Miz. Riley tries to make the save, but gets an RKO, as does Ziggler. The Miz slips out of the ring, and heads to the back before Orton can do any more damage.

Winner via disqualification: Edge

Josh Matthews talks with Wade Barrett about the difference between Nexus and The Corre. Barrett says he lost the Nexus because he became obsessed with the WWE Title and John Cena, but in the Corre there are no leaders, as they are all equals. Matthews questions about the attack on Teddy Long. Barrett denies involvement and wishes Teddy well. Barrett knows Cena will never like him, he just hopes Cena can respect him.

Match #5 – Ted DiBiase, Maryse and Alicia Fox vs. Daniel Bryan, Nikki Bella, and Brie Bella

Maryse makes a blind tag and Nikki is forced to enter the ring. Brie gets really close with Bryan, distracting Nikki. Maryse rolls her up for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ted DiBiase, Maryse and Alicia Fox

After the match, Nikki and Brie argue with each other up the ramp.

After the break, Brie and Nikki are still fighting over Bryan in the back. They enter his locker room only to find him making out with Gail Kim. He tells the twins that Gail is his girl and they have been together for six months. Gail tells the twins Daniel felt sorry for them since they haven’t had anything to do since there are no more guest stars. Nikki calls Kim an afterthought, and Kim slaps her. Chaos ensues, and officials quickly run in to restore order.

Match #6 – Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris w/ The Nexus vs. Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella w/ Tamina

Harris gets the pin after hitting a reverse DDT on Santino.

Winner via pinfall: Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris

After the match, David Otunga does the ring introduction for their leader, CM Punk.

Match #7 – CM Punk w/ The Nexus vs. Wade Barrett w/ The Core – John Cena special referee

Before the match starts, Cena tosses The Nexus from ringside. Punk is very concerned. Cena then tosses The Corre. Barrett can’t believe it. Cena calls for the bell, and then shoves Punk to the mat. Punk can’t fight back, but to be fair, Cena slaps Barrett as well.

The match finally gets under way, and Punk tosses Barrett over the top rope. Punk tells Cena that will be him. Cena tosses Punk over the rope. Punk gets in Cena’s face, allowing Barrett to attack from behind. Barrett covers, but Cena is signing autographs outside the ring. Punk and Barrett shoot off the ropes, and take each other out with clotheslines. Cena calls for the bell, disqualifying both men for using profanity. With no winner, both The Nexus and The Corre will not be in the Rumble.

Double Disqualification

The GM chimes in, calling this a blatant abuse of power. While the GM cannot change the result, he will allow the Corre and the Nexus to enter the Royal Rumble. He then orders John Cena to apologize or lose his spot in the Rumble.

Cena reluctantly enters the ring, and apologizes to both men, and then he lays them out. The Corre and Nexus hit the ring, chasing Cena from the ring. Cena starts to fight, when the locker room empties. Raw ends with a massive brawl in the ring. See you Sunday for the Royal Rumble.

RELATED LINKS

  • Live report from Raw in Detroit
  • Raw in Detroit Photo Gallery

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