By Jesse Castleman
Welcome to another edition of the WWE Raw Report. Live from Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky this week, we’re only six days away from Money in the Bank!
Lawler and Cole inform us that Cena will face off against only 6 of the 7 Nexus members in tonight’s handicap match due to Darren Young’s injury. With that said, out comes Cena to a nice pop from the crowd. Cena thanks everyone for their support against Nexus, especially those superstars who helped him last week at the end of Raw.
Cena explains that something was missing from Raw last week, and his name is Sheamus; Cena says Sheamus will realize that he has lost the WWE championship, ripping face off switching its place with his butt, because a steel cage match really proves who the best wrestler really is. In fact, Cena has only lost his title to Sheamus twice: by falling through a table by accident the first time, and by Nexus’s interference the second time. However, no one can interfere in a steel cage match. Cena mockingly exclaims that it’s the easiest match of the week, and out comes Nexus wearing new shirts with big N’s on the front. Wade Barrett says they could beat Cena up now, but they will wait for their match later tonight. Barrett also interjects that Cena is too shortsighted to see that Nexus stands for a bigger message. Cena simply doesn’t care and threatens to knock their faces in anyway.
Blinks, and a GM email. Michael Cole steps up to the podium and reads that if any superstar gets involved in the handicap match tonight they will be suspended for 90 days. Cole also reads that Nexus must also tag in and out of the match or they will be suspended for 90 days. I should note that the audience has been chanting, “What?!” during each of Cole’s pauses. Good to see the crowd getting into it. A bit more dialogue, ending in Cena warning Nexus that they may be able to take him down tonight, but he will be taking some of them down with him. Cena’s music hits, he poses for the audience, Nexus walks backstage, and it’s onto the first commercial break
Eve Torres, former Diva Champion is introduced at ringside when Raw returns. Current champ, Alicia Fox, makes her entrance, and highlights from their match from last week’s Raw are shown. Alicia is taunting Eve from the ring. Gail Kim enters, and a match between Fox and Kim begins. Kim throws Fox into the corner, but Fox fights back. Fox slaps a headlock on Kim in the middle of the ring, which Kim breaks out of. Kim hits a flapjack, clothesline, and dropkick on Fox, and Kim is on a roll. The match moves into the ring corner, however, as Fox takes over again and eventually hits her finisher on Kim. 1-2-3. After Fox is announced the winner, she begins taunting Eve from inside the ring. Blinks again! And another GM email. This one says that Eve is being awarded another Diva’s championship match against Fox at Money in the Bank this Sunday due to Fox feigning her leg injury during last week’s match. Fox doesn’t appear to be all that happy about that one, but Eve deserves a rematch for the title. Eve, on the other hand, appears ecstatic.
Alright, out come the tag team champions, the Hart Dynasty, with Natalya for a 6-person tag team match that was supposed to happen last week against the Uso Brothers and Tamina. Jimmy, Jey Uso and Tamina enter to some heat. Kidd and Jimmy to start, with Kidd getting the quick upper hand by connecting with a few aggressive maneuvers. Kidd throws Jimmy outside the ring, where Jey congregates to strategize with his brothers. During their huddle, Kidd takes out both Usos with a suicide dive over the top rope. Tamina gets Kidd. Jimmy tags Jey in, who hits a near fall on Kidd. Jey applies a headlock onto Kidd, whom the audience begins clapping, and Kidd works the crowd a bit before breaking out of it. Out of the headlock, Kidd is thrown into the Uso’s corner. Jey tags Jimmy back in, but Kidd manages to escape the Uso’s corner and tags Smith in. Smith connects with a double clothesline, a jumping knee to Jimmy’s face, and a slam for a pin, but Tamina breaks up the count. Natalya tackles Tamina to the outside of the ring. Smith rolls Jimmy up for a pin, but Jey pops back into the ring and connects with a brutal super kick to Smith’s face. Jey then hits a flying splash from the top rope onto Smith… One, two, three and it’s over. The Uso brothers and Tamina pick up the win. The Uso’s appear primed for their match against the Hart Dynasty this Sunday for the Tag Team Championship.
Chris Jericho is backstage with Wade Barrett, who is thanking Jericho for training him. They part ways, and Jericho supplies a, “no comment” to an attempted interview by Josh Matthews. Afterwards Barrett calls out Yoshi Tatsu for being a tough guy by helping Cena out last week. After proclaiming John Cena his friend, Tatsu finds himself surrounded by Nexus. David Otunga and Michael Tarver proceed to beat down Tatsu, and Tarver is up in the fallen Tatsu’s face before a commercial break.
The band I Fight Dragons is sitting at ringside, promoting their song “Money,” which also happens to be Money in the Bank’s theme song.
Out comes Ted Dibiase, looking slick with his million-dollar suit, belt, and girlfriend (who, may I add, is looking ridiculously good) attached to him. Maryse opens up the ropes for Dibiase to enter the ring. Dibiase then returns the favor and grabs a mic. Dibiase says he would like to introduce the million dollar couple to the WWE universe, as the most powerful couple in the WWE is himself… and the Money in the Bank briefcase. Maryse offers a distraught face, but Dibiase promises to shower Maryse with gifts once he wins the MITB match this Sunday. Dibiase predicts that h will receive the ultimate prize this Sunday, the WWE Championship. Out comes John Morrison to this with his own mic. Morrison explains Dibiase shouldn’t worry about showering Maryse because the French don’t take showers anyway, to which Maryse begins speaking French to Morrison, who offers to translate to the audience: everyone in the arena has rhinoceros breath, and that Maryse resembles a platypus. Maryse goes to strike Morrison, who catches her, and Dibiase takes Morrison down. After kicking and berating Morrison for disrespecting Maryse, Dibiase goes for Dreamstreet, but Morrison counters and kicks Dibiase in the face. In the corner, Morrison goes for Starship Pain, but Dibiase slides out of the ring just in time. Dibiase and Morrison stare each other down as Dibiase and Maryse walk back up the entrance ramp. I see a feud manifesting after the Pay Per View on Sunday.
Brilliant Brady Bunch opening segment promoting Santino Marella’s match against William Regal tonight, featuring Florence Henderson as Florence! Cut to Florence backstage who gives Marella a pie. Santino says it’s always about Regal. Regal, Regal, Regal! A laugh track is inserted, and Marella asks where the laughter is coming from. After a few more jokes, Regal enters the scene backstage, cracks a few jokes, and asks why he didn’t get a laugh track (the answer is, “because he’s not funny”). Regal says that if he wanted advice on how to raise six annoying children, he’d ask Florence. If he wanted some real information though, he’d ask the partridge family…and Florence returns Regal’s kind words with a slap to the face! Florence shames Regal for putting her down, as she is the guest host of Raw. Regal runs away, and Marella says he liked it. Turned on by Florence’s, um, aggressiveness, Marella goes in for a kiss, which Florence denies him of. Twice. Florence exits the scene, leaving Marella, who looks like he’s in love.
Lawler and Cole announce that R-Truth will be replaced in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match this Sunday, and his replacement will be determined tonight. A video is shown featuring Edge, who won the first MITB Ladder Match. Edge is facing Randy Orton next.
Edge enters the ring to pop. I’m not sure if the Rated-R Superstar is a face or heel these days. I’m going to say that he’s Switzerland currently, and well liked at least. Randy Orton finally enters after a suspenseful pause. A video of last week’s main event is shown, featuring teammates attacking each other on both teams, showing that every man is truly for himself this Sunday. The match begins with a lockup between the superstars that the referee eventually breaks up. Edge backs Orton into the corner and pounds some face. Orton turns about and now it’s Edge in the corner being pummeled. Irish whip to the opposite corner from Edge, but Orton clotheslines Edge, who falls. Orton with the cover, but Edge kicks out. Edge finds himself on the defensive against Orton for a bit, getting stomped on the outside ring apron. Edge is ultimately thrown to the outside. Orton follows him and tosses Edge back in, but as Orton hops up to the apron, Edge high boots Orton in the face. Now Edge tosses Orton back into the ring, and begins stalking Orton. Edge hits a low boot to Orton’s face, but Orton counters with a scoop slam on Edge’s second attempt. After an Irish whip into the ropes, Orton is thrown through the ropes and to the outside mats to signify a commercial break.
Back from the break, and Edge hits a drop toehold on Orton. Both wrestlers look tired, and Edge lock in a headlock. Orton fights back while Cole and Lawler announce that Edge has had the upper hand for most of the commercial break. Orton hits a back body drop on Edge just as he appears to be passing out. Two clotheslines and a scoop slam from Orton sends Edge scrambling. Edge counters a rope hung DDT from Orton into a picture perfect Edgecution DDT. Edge with the cover, 1, 2, and Orton kicks out. As Orton struggles across the ring, Edge stalks Orton from the ring corner for a Spear. Edge rushes, but Orton connects on a counter kick to the face. Orton now stalks Edge for an RKO. Edge counters the RKO, misses a spear into the turnbuckle, and Orton rolls up Edge into a pin for a two count. Orton’s down again, stalking Edge by doing his viper taunt, but is distracted this time by an entering Chris Jericho. Edge hits an Edge-O-Matic from behind Orton, and covers him for win.
During Edge’s celebration, Jericho enters the ring and hits a Codebreaker on Edge. Then Orton hits an RKO on Jericho, and out of nowhere Evan Bourne enters and knocks Orton down. Bourne goes up top for a shooting star press, but after the rotation instead finds himself on the shocking end of another RKO from Orton in mid air. The audience at this point has gotten to their feet and given this match a standing ovation. This may have been the best match that I’ve seen on television for months. 4 stars for sure.
Skip Sheffield is backstage being interviewed by Josh Matthews. He doesn’t even respond to his question, and then walks into an oncoming John Morrison. Morrison now is suddenly surrounded by Nexus, who proceed to beat Morrison down. Then Sheffield tosses Morrison hard into steel swinging doors. As Morrison stays down, Heath Slater hits a boot to Morrison’s face, and then for good measure Morrison is tossed knees-first into a rolling steel storage unit. Ouch, he won’t be feeling too good for the MITB match on Sunday.
Awesome! U.S. Champion The Miz enters as we return from the commercial break. He takes the mic and says that talk is cheap from the other MITB Ladder Match competitors. He shows a video of his actions last week, which resulted in R-Truth getting injured. He asks the audience if they understand his seriousness. The Miz says that what he did to R-Truth will pale in comparison to what he will do with a ladder to the other competitors in the match this Sunday. Because he’s the Miz, and he’s…blinks! Another GM email announcing that Miz will compete against R-Truth’s replacement right now, who turns out to be…Mark Henry, the World’s Strongest Man. The GM ends the email with, “Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions.”
Mark Henry enters, and the match begins. The Miz goes for a punch. Henry Irish whips Miz hard into the corner, and on the recoil Henry lifts the Miz up into a military press, and drops him face first on the ring. Miz rolls to the outside and fools Henry into running face-first into the GM email podium, which Michael Cole occasionally speaks from. Miz then tosses a bin at Henry, dumps trash onto him (how demeaning), and smashes Henry with that same trash bin. By this time the match has already been called off. The Miz steps away from his carnage for a few moments to allow Henry to slowly, but surely, get back up in time for a commercial break!
Florence Henderson is introduced as tonight’s guest host, and America’s favorite mom. The Brady Bunch opening theme is her entrance music. Anyway, she greets the WWE universe. She announces that she’s feeling groovy tonight. Uh oh, I don’t like where this is going based on what I’ve seen from Marella so far. I shake off any awkward visions from my brain, and Florence announces an 8-man tag match. Oh, THAT kind of groovy. I guess I was wrong about her! The Regal Bunch is the first to enter, the team consisting of William Regal, Zack Ryder, Primo, and…could it be…Doink the Clown! Nice choice, Regal, well played sir. And their opponents, the Santino Bunch, enter next, consisting of Santino Marella, Vladmir Kozlov, the Great Khali, and Goldust!
Marella starts against Regal. Regal knocks Marella down, but Regal is distracted by Florence pulling a move similar to Maryse from last week’s Raw, as Florence is wearing Regal’s robe. Marella works the crowd and hits a Cobra to Regal’s face, covers Regal, but the count is broken up. This is where all hell breaks loose, and eventually Doink is left alone in the ring with Marella. Khali steps in, and Doink stomps Khali’s foot. Khali doesn’t react, and just stares Doink down. Doink then pulls out squirt gun and shoots Khali in the face. At this point Khali has had enough of the antics, brain chops Doink in the face, and pins Doink for the victory. Khali kisses Florence, and raises his arms in victory as Marella is dumbfounded. Khali dances to his music in the match’s aftermath. Brilliant and comical, this could have been a great match to save for this Sunday’s Pay Per View. Three stars thanks to the nostalgia factor.
Edge is interviewed backstage by Josh Matthews. Edge says something about a voice in his head. He’s going crazy, man. Evan Bourne is being treated backstage, and Sheamus shows up. Sheamus belittles Bourne, but when Nexus surrounds them Sheamus makes something up about Bourne talking trash about Nexus. Predictably, Nexus beats up Bourne, and Sheamus walks back up to Born. “Little Evan Bourne…” he taunts, but is interrupted as Nexus comes back and stares down Sheamus. Dumbfounded in a stare down with the 6 members of Nexus, Sheffield swipes at Sheamus, who takes off like a bat out of hell in search for Cena’s locker room.
Back from the commercial break Nexus is standing in the ring in anticipation of the handicap match. Cena enters to another pop, circles the ring, and enters the ring. Michael Tarver starts off against Cena, who quickly puts Tarver in the corner. Hits a suplex. Tag to Gabriel, who is put into the corner again by Cena. Another Irish whip to the corner and a clothesline, and Gabriel is fallen and tags Sheffield in. Lock up and after a bit of a tussle, Nexus jumps off of the apron and strategize. Trick on Cena, as Heath Slater knocks him down from behind. Sheffield backs Cena into Nexus’s corner and tags Slater in. Back body drop, a second back body drop, and a third from Slater to Cena. A punch to Cena’s face and Otunga tags in, and Cena hits a few Nexus members off the apron until Otunga regains the upper hand. A couple of punches to Cena’s face knocks him into a corner, after which Otunga Irish whips Cena back first into the opposite corner. Cena counters Otunga into a back body drop. Barrett tags in and hits Cena with a big boot off the ropes. Cena with two shoulder blocks, and a back suplex slam. The crowd pops to Cena’s taunting and Cena hits a five-knuckle shuffle. Then, as Cena hits an Attitude Adjustment on Barrett, Sheffield blind tags himself in, which prevents a Nexus loss. Sheffield knocks Cena down, and then Otunga tags back in and hits the fallen Cena with a spine buster. Gabriel finally tags in again and sets Cena up for a 450 splash for the win. Nexus has defeated John Cena in the Main event. After the match chair shot to Heath Slater. Cena reenters the ring swinging his chair around until Nexus is forced to regroup. Just an observation, but Cena appears to be crying blood. As Nexus circles the ring in preparation of their next attack, Sheamus runs out from the ramp and enters the ring wielding his own chair. Instead of attacking Cena, however, this time Sheamus swings for the Nexus members and joins Cena in his defense. Nexus runs away back up the entrance ramp as Cena and Sheamus are left holding down the ring together as RAW goes off the air.
Until next week…