By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Philadelphia, Pa.
[Q1] The show opened with a video package on last week's NXT attack on Vince McMahon...
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in from ringside and discussed the angle. Cole said the NXT group wants simply to be known as "The Nexus." Cole said they attempted to contact the McMahon family for comment, but they are keeping details on his health status quiet.
Lawler said Nexus leader Wade Barrett is at WWE Headquarters. Lawler said he was being called on the carpet over the attack on Mr.McMahon. Cole read the "appropriate consequences" statement from the anonymous general manager, and said they would pass along any additional updates they get during the show...
Powell's POV: Good move to shift away from the NXT name. It worked initially from the standpoint that it got the NXT brand some much needed exposure (not that it paid off in the ratings), but now viewers can differentiate between the NXT television show and The Nexus faction.
Sheamus headed to the ring for a promo. He said he watched the footage of The Nexus attack on Vince McMahon. Sheamus announced, "The Champ is here." Nice. He said he would have defeated John Cena without help from The Nexus. He said the important thing is that John Cena is no longer the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship now that he used his rematch close.
Sheamus said he no longer has to look at tacky orange t-shirts or listen to Cena's "never give up" slogans. He said he no longer has to listen to Cena taunt him over his "beautiful Irish skin" by referring to him as a human jar of mayo. "I hate you, Cena, I hate you," exclaimed Sheamus.
John Cena's entrance music interrupted Sheamus just as he was saying he would not give him another title match. Big pop for Cena. Sheamus rolled his eyes once Cena arrived in the ring. Something tells me he wasn't the only one. Cena stopped to soak up the crowd noise before saying anything.
Sheamus questioned why Cena was there since he wasn't going to get another shot at the WWE Championship. Cena said he wasn't there for that. "I came out here to ask you for help," Cena said. He said everyone knows how Sheamus won and kept the WWE Championship thanks to "those jimbrones" known as The Nexus.
Cena pointed out that The Nexus would be coming after Sheamus next. Cena said they don't like each other, but that doesn't matter. He said Sheamus is tough as nails and he knows he can fight. "You want to keep your WWE Championship," Cena asked. "Then help me."
Cena called out The Nexus for a brawl. Meanwhile, the email chime went off. Michael Cole stood up and was showered with boos. Cole put on a pair of glasses and took a spot at a podium that was set up next to the announcers' table with a laptop on top of it. The email noted that the general manager will wait until next week to determine a punishment for The Nexus.
Cole, reading from the email, said the new general manager wants Wade Barrett to tell his side of the story. He added that The Nexus will be terminated if they attack a WWE wrestler. Meanwhile, the WWE wrestlers will be suspended if they touch a Raw wrestler. Cena and Sheamus were not happy with this development.
"Thanks a bunch Mr. Anonymous General Manager," Cena said. He said Sheamus has the worst haircut he's seen since Kid and Play. Cena said he learned some dance numbers from House Party 2&3. Cena danced for a second. Cena said Sheamus was probably upset that he couldn't get his hands on The Nexus.
Cena assumed Sheamus would want to start off Raw instead with a WWE Championship match. The email chimed again. Cole stood up at the podium and said Sheamus will face Mark Henry. The crowd booed. Cena threw his hat down and acted upset while talking about how his life is ruined by the internet. He said he hasn't been this pissed since his mom cancelled his subscription to Warcraft.
Cena said the general manager could contact him at his email address: Candypants54@gmail.org. The chime went off again. Cole said the new Money in the Bank pay-per-view will feature Raw and Smackdown MITB matches.
Cole said the winner of the eight-man matches will be able to cash in their title shots anytime for one year. He said the eight wrestlers in the Raw match will be revealed later tonight. Cole said the new general manager wanted to demonstrate. Sheamus said he could demonstrate all he wants. Sheamus said he was out of there.
[Q2] The chime sounded again. The cage music sounded and a cage started to lower around the ring with Cena inside, but it never made it all the way down (bad omen?). Cole announced that Sheamus would defend the WWE Championship against John Cena in a cage match at the MITB pay-per-view... [C]
Powell's POV: The new general manager must have some connection to the arena in Kansas City since the cage match was listed on the arena website before tonight. Yes, that's sarcasm. I'm still digging the anonymous general manager gimmick. I'm not sure how long they can drag it out before it gets old, but so far so good. I reserve the right to change my mind by the end of the night.
The Hart Dynasty came to the ring for a match, but they were attacked from behind at ringside by The Uso Brothers and Tamina. The heels headed back up the ramp, but then Tamina headed back out and hit the Superfly splash on Natalya...
Backstage, Josh Matthews and his abundance of hair product interviewed R-Truth, who said The Nexus wrestlers are acting like wild animals. "I say don't fire them, too easy," Truth said. "Leave them right here in the WWE Zoo because I'm the zookeeper,and that's the truth"...
Powell's POV: Nice to see The Uso Brothers and Tamina get some heat back. I thought they might be shoved aside for Nexus wrestlers given the angle last week, but this attack got the Harts vs. Usos feud rolling again. Solid promo by R-Truth. Having all the wrestlers talk about Nexus makes them the center of attention, but I'm not a fan of them losing the numbers game this early in the war. By the way, if the Nexus wrestlers can't attack WWE superstars, does that mean they can attack Cole, Lawler, or another non-wrestler?
A video recapped the dancing contest between Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov from the Viewer's Choice edition of Raw...
[Q3] 1. Vladimir Kozlov beat Santino Marella in 1:25. Santino actually powered out of a Kozlov hold, but Vladimir came back with his slam for the clean win. Kozlov smiled afterward. He picked up Santino, who fell over. Kozlov continued to smile as he left the ring.
William Regal came out and shook hands with Kozlov at ringside. Regal, who was dressed in street clothes, entered the ring and beat up Santino. Kozlov ran back in and saved Santino from Regal, who sold it like he was expecting that. Kozlov placed Santino on his shoulders, smiled, and carried him backstage...
On the backstage interview set, Josh Matthews interviewed Great Khali and Ranjin Singh about The Nexus crew. Khali spoke and Singh supposedly translated by saying Khali is a big, stupid giant who would run from The Nexus and is carried by his brother... [C]
Powell's POV: I guess this means Singh is turning on his storyline brother or something. Yawn. I'm sure this will lead to speculation that he's the anonymous general manager. I doubt it. If so, yawn.
Cole hyped that voting for the fan poll for WWE NXT opens tomorrow...
Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced guest host Rob Zombie. Lawler said Zombie reminds him of the Liberty Bell. "He's slightly cracked," Lawler said. Ugh. Zombie shook hands with the fans and energetically asked the fans "what's up?" He said he loves sick and twisted things, including the things that happen in the ring.
Zombie said he was there to announce the eight wrestlers in the Raw version of the MITB match: Randy Orton, The Miz, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, and Edge. Zombie sounded excited about Jericho, but stuck out his tongue regarding Edge.
Edge appeared on the big screen and said he hadn't talked with Zombie since he called him personally to inform him that he was no longer going to use his song as his entrance music. Zombie said he he took the song back and said he was leaving. Edge questioned whether he scared away "the horror director" and the "Astro Creep."
Edge noted that he won the MITB match in 2005 and cashed it in to win the WWE Championship. Edge aired highlights of the MITB and WWE Championship win over John Cena. Back live, Edge said, "Yeah, I did that." He said he had so much fun doing it that he did the same thing years later to Undertaker.
Edge said he owns the MITB match and intends to show everyone in the match just how twisted he can be. "At the end of the night, they will all be staring up at me," Edge concluded.
[Q4] The email chimed. Cole went to the podium and announced that the main event will feature all eight participants from the MITB match. Edge, Miz, DiBiase, and Jericho vs. Bourne, Morrison, Truth, and Orton in an eight-man tag match.
Powell's POV: Wow, that's a loaded eight-man MITB match. They included more star power than they usually do at WrestleMania. Most of the WrestleMania versions of the match feature younger wrestlers and some aging vets they want to get on the card (see Kane and Finlay). I dig it because there's not an obvious winner for the Raw version of MITB.
2. Sheamus pinned Mark Henry in a non-title match in 2:30. NXT rookie Lucky Cannon walked onto the stage with Henry, but then headed backstage. Henry splashed Sheamus and went for a cover at 1:50, but Sheamus got his foot on the ropes to break up the count.
Both men ended up at ringside. Henry pressed Sheamus over his head and threw him back inside the ring. When Henry followed, Sheamus caught him with the big boot and scored the clean pin...
Powell's POV: A solid credibility earning win for Sheamus. It's good to see him win clean on Raw.
Backstage, Matthews interviewed The Nexus. Michael Tarver said they could still make an impact despite the general manager's stipulations. Skip Sheffield approached a crew member off camera and shoved him to the ground. "That's what we mean," Tarver said. The Nexus wrestlers laughed while an intimidated Josh hung his head...
Lawler hyped the "eight-man tag team mega match"... [C] A commercial hyped the NXT voting begins Tuesday night...
Powell's POV: As expected, the Nexus wrestlers can rough up non-wrestlers and now there's nothing the Raw wrestlers can do about it unless they're willing to eat a suspension. Basically, the rule favors the NXT wrestlers, which is no surprise to those of us who believe the general manager is in cahoots with The Nexus.
Jerry Lawler hyped that the Ricky Steamboat DVD will be released on Tuesday. A classic video showed a vignette of Steamboat fighting ninjas. Fun stuff.
[Q5] Ricky Steamboat came to the ring wearing a suit. Cole said he's seen the DVD and it's a must see. I know I can't be the only one questioning Cole's sincerity. Steamboat waved to the fans and took a bow. Lawler said there are a few guys in the back who want to honor Steamboat's career.
The Raw theme music played and out came Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko, Mike Rotunda, and Michael Hayes wearing suits. Will The Nexus be next? Malenko said it's an honor to share the moment. He said he can't wait to go home and watch some of the great Steamboat matches. Malenko claimed he wasn't even born yet when he had most of those matches.
Rotunda said he never got a chance to work with Steamboat. He said that when all the money starts rolling in, he better pay his taxes. Hayes said he and Steamboat didn't get to compete a lot. Hayes said he hasn't received much camera time in the last three or four years, so he came out to do this: strut and moonwalk.
Arn Anderson stepped up and said there was a billions dollars of talent in the ring. "And you guys," Anderson cracked. Arn said he never beat Steamboat, but something magical always happened. Arn said there's always a debate over the top five wrestlers. He mentioned Undertaker, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels. Anderson said he he's never seen or been in the ring with anyone better.
Powell's POV: There were some "wooos" when Arn was running through the list of all-time greats, but he never mentioned Ric Flair.
Steamboat took the mic and thanked the fans. Sure enough, The Nexus music played and they walked onto the stage. The legends took off their jackets as the Nexus wrestlers slowly headed to ringside. Once there, the Nexus wrestlers surrounded the ring and took turns darting as if they were going to enter while the legends kicked them away.
Skip Sheffield pulled Anderson to ringside, where he was outnumbered and run into the post. Malenko was next at ringside, and he was promptly run back first into the guardrail. The NXT wrestlers pulled Rotunda to ringside and put the boots to him, leaving only Steamboat, Hayes, and Jerry Lawler in the ring. Cole must have headed for the hills, as there was no one on commentary.
The Nexus wrestlers all stood on the ring apron and eventually entered the ring, where they dominated the legends. Lawler was tossed to ringside and beaten down. Hayes received similar treatment. Steamboat was left lying in the ring. Once the Nexus wrestlers finished with the others, they headed back to the ring for the fallen Steamboat.
Ricky slowly got to his feet and was surrounded by all six wrestlers (minus Wade Barrett). Otunga hit his finisher on Steamboat, drawing major heat from the crowd (with a heel loving fans clapping). They picked up Steamboat, who took Skip Sheffield's running clothesline. Sheffield was bleeding on the back of his head from an apparent scratch. Fortunately, they didn't have the trainers stop the angle.
The Nexus crew dragged Steamboat to a corner of the ring. Justin Gabriel went to the top rope, looked at the fans, stood on the top rope, and then hit his awesome splash move. The Nexus wrestlers stood over Steamboat and were headed backstage when the show cut to commercial...
Powell's POV: I enjoyed the hell out of that segment. I'm not sure how much it will resonate with younger fans. They should remember Steamboat from WrestleMania, but the others don't get much camera time. Okay, so IRS tells the same joke once every month or two. The only thing missing were shots of undercard wrestlers holding back John Cena. After all, he's portrayed as a standup guy, so the threat of suspension shouldn't stop him from trying to do the right thing. I guess we'll see if they address that after the break.
[Q6] [C] After the break, Cole set up a highlight package that recapped the previous segment. Cole questioned whether anyone was safe. Cole the new group is named "The Nexus or The Connection or The Network."
Powell's POV: Um, what? How many f'n names do they have? Anyway, one thing missing from the announcing has been Lawler grilling Cole for info regarding the anonymous general manager. Lawler should have been asking the obvious questions that fans at home would be asking. It's easy to have Cole respond by saying he doesn't know anything more than Lawler does, but Lawler still should ask the question since Cole has the email thing going on.
Back live, the legends were still being helped to their feet. Steamboat went out on a stretcher while the others were helped backstage. Cole explained that the WWE wrestlers didn't come out to help because they would have been suspended. "The locker room's hands were basically tied," Cole said. Additional video footage of the angle played...
Powell's POV: That excuse just doesn't fly since a traditional babyface should care more about doing the right thing than a suspension. I still dig the angle, but it makes most of the Raw babyfaces look really bad. If Cena and the babyfaces care, yet had their hands tied, shouldn't they have at least come out to help the legends backstage? Sloppy. Despite the goofy name thing, Cole did a good job of delivering that message while the legends were being helped backstage. I like the way they let that one sink in rather than have everything go right back to normal after the last break.
3. Maryse and Alicia Fox defeated Gail Kim and Eve Torres in 3:15. Josh Matthews took over for Jerry Lawler on commentary. Matthews spoke about how uncomfortable he was interviewing The Nexus earlier. In the end, Alicia pinned Gail Kim...
Powell's POV: Doesn't Ted have enough dough that his new old lady doesn't have to wrestle?
[Q7] Matthews hyped the eight-man tag main event (featuring a team of pussy babyfaces who are more concerned with not getting suspended than doing the right thing)... [C]
Cole and Matthews recapped video footage of The Nexus attack on the WWE legends. Cole said he's expecting some major punishments to be handed down on The Nexus next week...
Powell's POV: You keep on thinking that, Michael. Of course, that's what he's supposed to say. Honestly, Cole has done a decent job tonight. For those wondering why it looks like he's reading a script on the computer, well, it's because he's reading a freaking script. That doesn't mean he's the mystery GM. He could be, but the guy is reading his lines as if they were emails sent by the anonymous GM. I wouldn't read anything into that.
The MITB briefcase was hanging above the ring and a ladder was set up below it. Edge climbed the ladder and stood next to the briefcase. The rest of the heels were introduced individually. Maryse gave DiBiase a kiss on the cheek, but headed backstage. The babyfaces made their individual entrances and then the show went to break... [C]
[Q8] 4. Randy Orton, R-Truth, John Morrison, and Evan Bourne defeated Edge, Chris Jericho, Ted DiBiase, and The Miz in an eight-man tag match in 15:10. DiBiase and Morrison started the match, which started right after the commercial break. The babyfaces used quick tags early with Truth and Bourne entering the match within the first 90 seconds to take their shots at DiBiase.
At 5:00, Morrison hit some of his signature offense on The Miz. Yes, Cole called it Vintage Morrison. Ugh. Edge jumped Morrison from behind at ringside to give the heels the advantage heading into the break. [C] After the break, the heels took turns working over Morrison.
[Overrun] Morrison made the hot tag to Bourne, who fought with Jericho. Bourne went for the Shooting Star Press at 14:35, but Jericho moved. Bourne landed on his feet, but Jericho caught him with the Codbreaker. Jericho was too winded to go for the pin. Jericho tagged in DiBiase, while Bourne tagged Orton. Randy hit the RKO on DiBiase and scored the pin.
After the pin, Edge clocked Orton from behind and took him out. Then there was a series where several wrestlers hit their finishers. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Morrison to end that series. He set up the ladder and climbed toward the briefcase, but Orton entered the ring and pushed the ladder and Miz over.
Orton stood tall in the middle of the ring while the live crowd chanted his name. Orton set up the ladder and climbed to the top. He took the briefcase down and held it up while the live crowd cheered to close the show...
Powell's POV: Fun main event. I hate seeing Ted lose again when it looked like he was finally getting a jump start by having Maryse added to his team, but it wasn't the type of loss that anyone will remember a couple weeks from now. Overall, The Nexus angle is keeping the show exciting. The execution was frustrating, but there's no denying the show is much hotter than it was before the angle started. I'll have a lot more to say about the show in Dot Net Member exclusive audio. You can join us by signing up right now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
6/28 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Will the anonymous Raw general manager be revealed? What's next for the NXT faction? Rock star and movie director Rob Zombie hosts
Posted in: WWE TV Reports
Jun 28, 2010 - 10:00 PM
Jun 28, 2010 - 10:00 PM
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