Del Rio beats the odds: WWE Royal Rumble 2011

The newly expanded Royal Rumble match had thrills, chills and excitement, and even a shocking finisher when relative newcomer Alberto Del Rio survived the onslaught of talent, last eliminating both Randy Orton and Wade Barrett to earn his way to the main event of WrestleMania XXVII.  John Cena rounded out the final four, but while the referees were busy trying to break up a brawl outside of the ring, The Miz, who had joined the commertary team upon the entrance of his protege Alex Riley, slid into the ring and dumped Cena over the ropes.  Before leaving the ringside area, Cena left an ominous message with Miz’s biggest fan, Michael Cole, that he’d had enough.

The Rumble almost ended with the most shocking upset ever when Santino Marella, who had earlier been knocked through the ropes, returned to the ring after Del Rio had seemingly captured the match.  Marella loaded up the Cobra and nailed Del Rio, but as he tried to throw him over the ropes for the win, Del Rio shifted his weight and sent Santino flying.  And with that, Del Rio claimed victory and was heading to WrestleMania.

Rest of the show after the jump.

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Raw 1/24/11

On this episode of Raw, we got a champion versus champion match.  The de facto leader of the old Nexus, The Corre, would take on the leader of the new Nexus with their groups’ participation in the Rumble on the line.  Melina got her shot at the Divas title.  The story between Daniel Bryan and the Bella twins had a shocking twist.  Match results are below and full details are after the jump.  If a match doesn’t appear within the details, then nothing you need to know about happened during the match.

Match Results
Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus def. Mark Henry & John Morrison by submission.
Divas Title match:  Natalya (c) def. Melina by submission.
Edge def. The Miz by DQ.
Maryse, Ted DiBiase & Alicia Fox def. Daniel Bryan & The Bellas by pinfall.
Non-title match:  Husky Harris & Michael McGillicuty def. Santino Marella and Vladmir Koslov by pinfall.
Wade Barrett vs. CM Punk ended in double-DQ.  Read more of this post

Hazing: Raw 1/10/11

On last night’s episode of Raw, CM Punk further established his control of the Nexus, Lawler would get a chance at revenge on The Miz, some stars from Smackdown would visit to talk up their Royal Rumble aspirations, and this year’s first Hall of Fame inductee would be announced.  Match results are below; details of the show are after the jump.

Match Results
Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth by count-out.
Mark Henry & Daniel Bryan def. Ted DiBiase & Tyson Kidd by pinfall.
John Morrison def. King Sheamus by pinfall.
Randy Orton & Jerry “The King” Lawler def. The Miz & Alex Riley by pinfall.  Read more of this post

What does a serious John Cena injury mean for WWE?

Injuries are an inevitable part of wrestling.  Sports entertainment or not, the kind of high impact performances that wrestlers put on day in and day out takes its toll on their bodies.  Bones are broken, muscles are hurt, ligaments are damaged.  And when that happens, the wrestler is pulled from their schedule and given time to heal.  For the bigger stars, an angle is usually played out to explain their absence.  For the undercard performers, they just vanish for a while.

But last week, WWE.com used a term I had never seen before when reporting an injury to John Cena suffered in a house show match against Wade Barrett.  “Day-to-day.”  That term is used in other sports when the injury may or may not be overly serious and the athlete is evaluated daily to see if they can get back into action.  In pro wrestling, that’s not a term that gets used.  If an injury is reported, it’s either worked into the storyline or the person vanishes.

But this happening with John Cena is quite different.  Love him or hate him, it cannot be argued that John Cena is the biggest draw in the WWE right now.  In the kid-friendly PG-rated realm of World Wrestling Entertainment, John Cena is the all around good guy that the kids can get behind.  He fights the bad guys.  He says funny things.  He salutes the troops.  He is a huge draw for the Make A Wish Foundation.  He pulls off jean shorts.  When I attended Raw live last month, the entire arena chanted his name when a commercial of him appeared.  His involvement made the Nexus a legitimate heel stable, despite having the likes of Heath Slater and Michael Tarver in it.

An injury to Cena is a huge deal for the WWE, especially if it’s one that keeps him out of action for an extended amount of time.  WWE has offered refunds for shows that would have had Cena in action.  Storylines had to be shuffled a bit to work around the matter, which is unfortunate since a major one – CM Punk leading the Nexus – was built around him.  It was announced that Cena would appear on Raw next week, so hopefully the injury isn’t as severe as feared, or at least is one that he can continue appearing on TV for – much like CM Punk’s injury that landed him at Raw’s commentary table.

But what would an extended injury to Cena requiring recovery time mean for Raw?  What would it mean for the WWE altogether – especially heading into the road from the Royal Rumble to WrestleMania?  After the jump, we’ll take a look at the whole picture and even compare it to big star injuries of the past.

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New Year: Raw 1/3/11

The first episode of Raw in 2011 saw things kick off with a pay-per-view quality title match to open the show.  Also, the new leader of Nexus, CM Punk, would have a confrontation with the old leader of Nexus, Wade Barrett.  In the main event, Randy Orton, King Sheamus, and Wade Barrett would have a triple threat steel cage match to determine who would get a shot at the Royal Rumble.  Match results are directly below, details are after the break.

Match Results
WWE Championship match:  The Miz(c) def. John Morrison by pinfall.
Natalya, Eve & Brie Bella def. Melina, Maryse & Alicia Fox by pinfall.
The Usos def. Sanino Marella & Vladmir Koslov by pinfall.
Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth by submission.
#1 Contenders match:  Randy Orton def. Wade Barrett & King Sheamus.  Read more of this post

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.

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Raw is Awesome: Raw 11/22/10

After Orton’s win at Survivor Series, would we ever see John Cena again?  How would Wade Barrett and The Nexus react to their defeat?  Who from Raw will qualify for King of the Ring?  Will CM Punk join Lawler and Cole on commentary?  Has The Miz finally found the right time and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract?  Would I bother asking yes or no questions if the answer wasn’t yes?  Find the answers to these questions in the Quick Match Results below, and the full review of the show after the break.

Quick Match Results
King of the Ring Qualifier:  Sheamus def. R-Truth by pinfall.
King of the Ring Qualifier:  Ezekiel Jackson def. Alex Riley by pinfall.
King of the Ring Qualifier:  Daniel Bryan def. Ted DiBiase by submission.
Natalya def. Alicia Fox by submission.
King of the Ring Qualifier:  John Morrison def. Tyson Kidd by pinfall.
WWE Championship match:  Randy Orton(c) def. Wade Barrett by pinfall.
WWE Championship match:  The Miz def. Randy Orton(c)  by pinfall.

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