A Nexus Ultimatum: WWE Raw 12/07/10

Wade Barrett certainly didn’t expect the mess he’s in when he fired John Cena after losing his WWE title match at Survivor Series.  His intention had been to remove the biggest obstacle in the path of Nexus domination over Raw, and it seemed that all was going according to plan.  But even without his job, Cena has proven to be a bigger threat to the Nexus than ever.  After he took out Michael McGillicutty and orchestrated a Raw attack on the troops, he promised he’d see Barrett again next week.

The Nexus was understanably nervous about Cena’s threat.  David Otunga spoke with commentators from a nearby hotel, but even that couldn’t stop Cena’s attack.  Cena entered the hotel room and attacked Otunga, who high-tailed it when Husky Harris made the save, only to take a vicious beating himself.  Later in the show, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater defended their tag titles in a four corners elimination match.  With only the comedic duo of Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov left, the Nexus seemed to have the match won, only for Cena to appear from under the ring apron to distract Gabriel, allowing Santino to hit the Cobra and win the titles.

Beyond the point of frustration, Wade Barrett came to the ring and invited Cena in from the crowd.  With the four members of Nexus (McGillicutty was still out) watching from the entrance ramp, Barrett told Cena that Nexus would attack if he tried to hit him.  Cena told Barrett that being fired gave him a freedom he didn’t have while under contract, and without a job he has nothing to do than make the lives of each member of Nexus miserable.  The only way for Cena’s reign of terror to end would be for Barrett to reinstate him.  Having heard enough, Barrett ordered Nexus to attack, but to his chagrin, each member hesitated, then walked back to the locker room – apparently having had enough of Cena’s attack and blaming only Barrett’s pride for allowing them to continue.  With no one left to defend him, Barrett took a beating from Cena, only to escape and run away when Cena was about to AA him through the announce table.

Backstage, Barrett yelled at the Nexus, but Otunga told him this was an ultimatum.  Hire back John Cena or lose the Nexus.

Rest of the show (and live notes from the show – we were there!) after the jump.

After costing his broadcast partner Jerry “the King” Lawler his WWE Championship match last week, Cole tried to mend fences by explaining his love for the Miz and his championship reign.  The more Cole talked, the more he convinced himself that he had no need to apologize and actually told Lawler that he should apologize to Cole instead.  Having heard enough, Lawler entered the ring, but the potential beatdown was thwarted by the anonymous Raw GM (as read by CM Punk) that any violence between the two would lead to termination.  Lawler reluctantly shook Cole’s hand, but informed him that someone else wanted to speak with him.  That someone was Randy Orton.

As Lawler held Cole in place, Orton spoke of his desire to win back his WWE title match in Louisville, but Miz came out to put the kibosh on that possibility.  Instead, Alex Riley challenged Orton to a match with Miz saying that he is choosing their match stipulation for TLC and it will be awesome.  To show Miz that his injured knee can’t keep him from doing what he’s best at, Orton dropped Michael Cole with a vicious RKO (with a shove from Jerry Lawler).

Later in the show, Orton looked to have Riley beaten when the Miz slid in and delivered a Skull Crushing Finale for the DQ.  To demonstrate his match selection, Miz pulled a table from underneath the ring, but Orton recovered and fought him off, leaving Riley to suffer a powerbomb through the table in his mentor’s place.

As for the rest of the show…

  • Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella defeated Ted DiBiase and Maryse in a mixed tag team match.  Nikki Bella had tried to offer her services to Bryan earlier, and ended up getting the win when she swapped places with Brie in the ring.  Maryse seemingly finally had enough of DiBiase’s losing ways and walked off.
  • Tyson Kidd defeated former partner David Hart Smith.  Kidd was accompanied by a massive new bodyguard whom the commentators didn’t know and thus didn’t identify.  Smith attacked Kidd after the match but the bodyguard made the save and beat down Smith.
  • Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov defeated the Usos, Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu and the Nexus to capture the tag team titles.  Slater eliminated Tatsu and Kozlov eliminated the Jimmy Uso before John Cena appeared and cost Gabriel and Slater their titles.
  • After the match, Tamina and Kozlov joined Santino in his signature trombone motion.  Kozlov’s involved goose-stepping.
  • With his throne set up in the ring, a crowned and robed “High King” Sheamus gave his coronation speech, but was interrupted by John Morrison.  Sheamus called Morrison jealous of his success and demanded that Morrison bow down to him.  Morrison refused and attacked, ultimately throwning Sheamus through his throne.
  • Natalya defeated Melina in a quick non-title match.  After the bell, Team Lay-Cool (who had joined on commentary) attacked Natalya.

Looking Back
A good mid-PPV cycle show to help build the feuds.  The Cena/Barrett program builds with each program they have and has gotten more inticing with the defection of the Nexus to close out the show.  It was the first and only time (I can remember) that the likes of David Otunga and Husky Harris have been cheered.  I’m thinking this will lead to a match at TLC with Cena’s job on the line, which is cool.  You didn’t expect the WWE to actually cast Cena off, did you?

Also equally intriguing was the feud between the Miz and Randy Orton.  Miz needs this kind of feud to legitimize himself as WWE Champion.  He’s definitely making himself a crafty heel and a dangerous force no matter where you see him.  Of course, the more Miz taunts Orton, the more his followers seem to suffer for it.  Michael Cole took a brutal RKO and was out for the rest of the show while Alex Riley took a beating and ended up slammed through a table.  I doubt we’ve heard the last of the growing feud between Cole and Jerry Lawler.  I wonder what this means for the Raw broadcast team.  CM Punk won’t stay injured forever and Josh Matthews is hardly the voice you want to hear each week on the flagship show.

Random thoughts on the rest…

  • I like the mini-feud between the Bella Twins, especially that the hapless Daniel Bryan is unwittingly caught in the middle of it.
  • I’m curious as to where Ted DiBiase’s path is going to lead.  A losing streak gimmick is not an easy thing to come out of intact.  That’s why I call it the “Rob Conway Effect”.
  • Tyson Kidd’s new bodyguard is certainly impressive looking, but these guys often fizzle out when it comes to getting in the ring.  His beating on DH Smith didn’t look as brutal as his look probably needed.
  • I suppose the Diesel-like support answers the overused question of who’s the Michaels/Jannetty between the Hart Dynasty.
  • Santino and Kozlov: tag team champions?  Yes, please!
  • Sheamus looks pretty ridiculous with his special-made crown.  Of course Sheamus looks pretty ridiculous all the time.
  • I would never say that to his face.  Sheamus would kill me.
  • John Morrison came off strong even with his King of the Ring loss fresh in everyone’s minds.
  • It seemed odd that Lay-Cool would be back on Raw just a week after being barred from the building.  Isn’t that what Smackdown’s for?
  • Wow – remember when Melina used to be the Diva to beat on Raw?
  • When John Cena prepared the commentator table for slamming, he took special care to not spill CM Punk’s Diet Pepsi, unlike last week.
  • And one last note – a special happy birthday to our normal Raw reviewer From Parts Unknown.  My gift is writing this review!  Maybe next year I’ll give you that $20 I owe you.

Match Results

  • Daniel Bryan & Nikki Bella def. Ted DiBiase & Maryse
  • Tyson Kidd def. David Hart Smith
  • Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov def. The Nexus (Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater), Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu, and the Usos (Jey & Jimmy Uso) (w/Tamina) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Natalya def. Melina
  • Randy Orton def. Alex Riley (w/The Miz) by DQ

Live Attendance Notes
All four members of the 1/8th Nelson (as well as the blog’s founder, who no longer contributes) were in attendance at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center for Raw.  All four of us are now exhausted from the show, but we all agree that it was worth the price of admission.  If you haven’t been to a WWE show live, get to one as soon as they come close.  It’s awesome.

Anyway, below will be my notes I took.  These include two SPOILERS for Thursday’s episode of Superstars, but let’s be real here.  You don’t watch Superstars, do you?

  • In a pre-show dark match, NXT Season 2 rookie Percy Watson defeated Primo.
  • In a match for Superstars, Ezekiel Jackson defeated Zack Ryder.  Or at least I think it was Zack Ryder – the ring announcer Ashley Valance announced Big Zeke twice.
  • In another Superstars match, Eve defeated Alicia Fox.  As usual, every move Fox took looked positively brutal.
  • And Eve’s theme music ain’t lying…
  • After Raw went off the air, the live crowd got a dark match main event in which The Miz defended the WWE Championship against Randy Orton and Wade Barrett.  Miz retained his title after he threw Randy Orton out of the ring after he had hit Barrett with the RKO and stole the pin.
  • John Cena was really over with the Louisville crowd.  I mean CRAZY over.  Before the show started, the crowd popped anytime he appeared in a commercial on the Titantron – even when his video game avatar showed up in the Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 commercial.
  • This led to a humorous event when everyone was waiting for him to come out during the tag title match.  Someone showed up in a purple shirt and the crowd popped, but it was just a fan.  Cena eventually appeared from under the ring.
  • None of us noticed them setting up Sheamus’s throne in the ring.  The lights came back up and poof! there it was.  We’re still not sure how we missed that one.
  • Not a single pyro was shot off during the broadcast.  We were thinking about it and the only Raw superstar that seems to have pyro anymore is John Morrison.  He only appeared to interrupt Sheamus.
  • R-Truth, Darren Young and William Regal were the only uninjured Raw Superstars not to appear at any point on the show.  Gail Kim was the only Diva not to appear.
  • There was a kid in the row behind us that sounded exactly how you’d think a stereotypical Kentucky child would sound.  The longer the night wore on, the more and louder the kid yelled.  It was horrible and adorable.
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