TONIGHT: Yet another champion vs. champion match airs tonight, as Edge takes on The Miz. In a Divas Title match, Natalya takes on Melina. Also, it’s the go-home show for the Royal Rumble.
-Tonight, The Miz vs. Edge in a champ vs. champ match.
-Also, the Divas Title is on the line, as Melina challenges Natalya.
-Edge came out first. He had his ribs taped as he entered the ring with a mic. He said he doesn’t like waiting and gave a few examples of such. He got in a shot at Michael Cole too. The GM e-mailed in and Cole did his thing. The GM said that Edge’s match is set for later tonight, but the GM hasn’t forgotten the disrespect Edge showed him when he was on the Raw roster. So he’s set up an exhibition. Three men will attempt to throw Edge over the top rope and the winner will get to start the Rumble at #40. Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre and Tyson Kidd all ran to the ring. Kidd was thrown over after a powerslam, but McIntyre caught Edge with a hellified boot. He almost got Edge over, but Swagger attacked Drew. Unfortunately, Swagger was then thrown out. McIntyre set up for the Future Shock, but Edge eliminated McIntyre. They rang the bell and played Edge’s music, but I don’t consider that a true “match.” Edge got the mic again and thanked the anonymous Raw GM. He thanked the GM for getting his juices flowing, but there is one more thing he wants to do. He began to exit the ring and asked the fans who among them wants to see a smashed laptop computer. Cole got up and stood in front of the laptop, trying to talk some sense into Edge. As Edge approached Cole, Nexus’ music played, and CM Punk led that group out.
Strangely, Cole went back to the table during their entrance and Edge just disappeared. Punk said that only the strong survive, and they do because they evolve. He said that he saw that the Royal Rumble is expanding, so he’s evolving. Last week, Nexus evolved with the inclusion of their newest member, hand-picked by Punk, from Cardiff, Wales…Mason Ryan. My roommate said Ryan looked like a combo of Batista and Liev Schreiber. Ryan said he had only one thing to say…”faith.” Punk said he couldn’t have said it any more eloquently. He said the men in the ring are bonded by faith and unlike John Cena, and the poor man’s Nexus, The Corre (loud “Cena” chants here), Punk said their faith will be rewarded on Sunday. Nexus has a common goal, and that is making sure Punk is the winner of the Royal Rumble match. But The Corre then walked out, sans cool t-shirts like Nexus.
Corre entered the ring and faced off with Nexus. Wade Barrett, who looks like he’s lost some muscle definition, said the only poor man’s Nexus is the rubbish standing in front of him. He said Corre isn’t about a brainwashing dictatorship, but about equals. Ezekiel Jackson said the four of them will try to win the Rumble themselves, but they’ll unite to make sure they eliminate Punk. Jackson got in Punk’s face, so Ryan stepped in to go toe-to-toe with Jackson. I don’t think they should’ve exposed the size difference between the two like that. The GM chimed in again and said that if he’s going to give Smackdown superstars an invitation to come to Raw, they’ll have to play by his rules. With Teddy Long sidelined, he said he had full authority to make Barrett vs. Punk tonight. What about Vickie Guerrero? And whoever loses will see him and his entire group out of the Rumble match. Whoa. The special guest referee will be John Cena. The two groups argued in the ring as they went to break. Are they going to really exclude one of those two groups in their entirety?
(1) John Morrison & Mark Henry vs. Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio Del Rio got the better of Morrison to start, sending him head-first into the turnbuckle. Sheamus tagged in and Morrison fought back against his arch-rival of the moment. Headscissors take-down by Morrison, then a dropkick for a one-count. Del Rio tagged in and was knocked down by a shoulder and a bad heel kick. Another take-down for Morrison, who set up for Starship Pain. Luckily, Sheamus pulled Del Rio out of the way and they went to break with the heels trying to re-group at almost exactly the 2:00 mark.
Del Rio was in control out of break, helped out by Sheamus during the commercial. Elbowdrop to the back to keep Morrison from making the tag. Instead, Sheamus tagged in for the heel team. Michael Tarver was shown watching on a monitor backstage. Jerry Lawler said he saw Tarver hanging out backstage all day. He wore a t-shirt and a sports coat. Sheamus kept Morrison grounded, as we’ve yet to see Henry in the match. Overhead forearms to the chest of Morrison from the Celtic Warrior. Morrison worked his way to his feet, but fell victim to a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker for two. Sheamus began pounding his chest as if he were Mark Wahlberg in “Fear.” He missed the Brogue Kick and both men ended up on the mat. Both made tags and Henry clobbered Del Rio with headbutts. He bulldozed Del Rio and got two. Sheamus broke it up with a boot to the face. Henry headbutted Sheamus down and whipped him in the corner, then clotheslined Del Rio. Brogue Kick by Sheamus, but Flash Kick by Morrison on Sheamus. Corkscrew by Morrison over the top onto Sheamus, but it wasn’t clean and Morrison came up holding his knee. Cross arm-breaker back in the ring by Del Rio onto Henry for the submission win.
Winners: Sheamus and Del Rio, at 10:07. Good tag match, but the only reason for it was for the announcers to talk about the Rumble. No real consequences here.
-Tonight, Barrett vs. Punk with John Cena as special guest referee.
-Next, Natalya vs. Melina. Both were shown in a split-screen walking backstage.
-Cole plugged the Greatest Rumble Moments on WWE.com.
(2) Melina vs. Natalya- WWE Divas Championship Match Melina tackled Nattie by the ropes, sending her out of the ring. Melina brought Natalya back in and curb stomped her. Cover for only one. She applied a body-scissors in the middle of the ring, then turned it into a shoulder vice. Natalya showed her power by getting to her feet and backing Melina into the corner. Couple forearm shots by Natalya in the corner as the crowd sat in silence. Hip-toss by Natalya and Melina landed on the back of her head. Melina countered with a punch to Nattie. Melina stomped the mid-section of Natalya, but Nattie caught a legdrop attempt and turned it into a Sharpshooter. She leaned all the way back so that her shoulders were on the mat near Melina’s head. Melina tapped.
Winner: Natalya, at 2:45. Melina is good to have around for her flexibility, which makes moves look much better than when done on other women.
-As Natalya celebrated, LayCool walked out. Layla said that in a few days, Natalya will lose some weight by losing the Divas Championship. She said they never got their championship rematch. Michelle McCool said at the Royal Rumble, they’ll bring the Divas division back from being classless to flawless.
-Still to come, The Miz faces Edge in a champion vs. champion match.
-They showed the exterior of Comerica Park in Detroit.
-A video package aired of the end of last week’s Punk vs. Cena match.
-David Otunga, Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty were talking backstage, showing doubt over the Punk vs. Barrett match. Punk and Ryan came up and Punk talked about the negative energy and what sacrifice means. He said Ryan will make a sacrifice this Sunday, and so will the rest of them, in order to help Punk win. Punk said their lives will change if Punk main events Wrestlemania. He stopped his speech and asked if Harris had something to say. Harris said what if Punk has number one and Nexus doesn’t come out ‘til 20-something and he’s already eliminated? Ryan stood up for Punk saying he won’t be eliminated. Punk told them to keep the Corre at bay. McGillicutty said Cena will never let Punk win tonight. Punk said the better man will win and besides, Barrett has been making Cena’s life a living hell, not him. He told them all to have faith. They all took a knee and put their fists in the middle of the circle.
-Smilin’ Josh Mathews was backstage and John Cena came in. Cena said he always does the right thing and tonight will be no different. He said if Punk wins, he has faith that he’ll eliminate Punk and the rest of Nexus. Cena said if Barrett wins, he’ll have to face Barrett and the Corre, spelled with an extra “R.” He was about to say what the extra “r” stood for when The Miz walked in and said “really.” Cena made a joke and Miz and Alex Riley both did an exaggerated laugh and stopped at the same time. Miz chastised those in the Rumble for thinking they have a shot at his title, then told Cena to watch what he’s going to do to Edge tonight. Cena said Miz has nothing to talk about and asked what if Miz loses to Randy Orton at the Rumble and loses his rematch, and doesn’t make it to ‘Mania. He said Riley and Miz “must see” their way to a shower because they smell like raw sewage. Miz took the mic from Mathews and asked the fans if they thought he was going to lose to Orton. They had the truck roll footage of Riley and Miz’s attack on Orton last week.
-Cole and Lawler talked on camera, with Cole telling people that they need to start giving Miz some respect.
(3) The Miz vs. Edge Before the match could begin, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero walked out. They joined the commentary team for this match. Miz missed a few kicks and the contest started with a bit of a feeling-out process. Edge pounded away on Miz and caught him with a back elbow. Cole announced that there’d be more information on Teddy Long’s health later tonight. Miz followed up getting some separation, but missed another kick. Test of strength turned into waist-lock by Miz. Edge took him down, then clotheslined Miz over the top rope and to the outside. They cut to break about 2:30 in.
Miz had the advantage upon return, and garnered a near-fall. Edge took Miz down and set up for the Spear, but Miz fled the ring. Edge followed him outside. Miz gave him a shot to the ribs, but Edge reversed an Irish whip and sent Miz into the barricade. Back in the ring, Edge went to the top rope. Miz cut him off and attempted a superplex. Edge blocked it and headbutted Miz down. Cross-body off the top on Miz for two. Couple whips into the buckle by Edge. The World Champ missed a corner charge and Miz took over. He laid Edge up chest first on the top rope. Another break, just under 10:00 into the match.
Miz showed off his aggressive side, punching Edge a number of times in the face, and needing to be restrained by the referee. Body-scissors by Miz, working those injured ribs. Edge came back to send Miz face-first into the mat. Most of the tape had come off the mid-section of Edge by this point. Two-count by Edge. Shoulders to the gut by Miz as Ziggler said it was time for a new generation (ugh, that doesn’t bring back great memories) in him as a main-eventer. Miz missed his corner clothesline and Edge rolled him up for two. Riley got involved and Edge chased him around ringside. Miz tried to steal one with an inside cradle for two. Edge took out Riley with a baseball slide and then gave Miz the jumping DDT. Spear attempt by Edge, but Ziggler tripped him up for the DQ.
Winner: Edge, by DQ, at 16:40. Solid enough match. Commentary was distracting at times, but Ziggler did a nice job.
Ziggler gave Edge a Zig Zag, but Randy Orton charged out to a huge pop. He went over Miz, as Riley and Ziggler tried to hold him back. He took Ziggler out with a scoop slam then went after Miz again at ringside. Back in the ring, Riley and Ziggler at RKO’s, but Miz took out Orton’s leg with the briefcase. He grabbed his title and high-tailed it up the ramp.
-Punk vs. Barrett with Cena as ref is still to come.
-Lawler thanked Finger Eleven for the official Royal Rumble theme song.
-Barrett was backstage with Mathews. Mathews asked what the difference was between Nexus and Corre. Barrett said Nexus began with a goal in mind and they were to work toward that common goal. But once he got the WWE Title in his sights and because of that and John Cena, he lost sight of their goal and he lost Nexus. But in Corre (the members all walked in to camera shot), they are all equals with no leader. Mathews asked what their role was in Teddy Long’s accident, but Barrett interrupted him. He said they wish Long the best of luck in his recover and they had nothing to do with it. Barrett said he knows Cena will never like him, but he hopes Cena will respect him…just like he respects Cena.
(4) Daniel Bryan & The Bella Twins vs. Ted DiBiase & Maryse & Alicia Fox- Mixed Tag Match DiBiase and Bryan started the match, with Bryan hip-tossing DiBiase. The two came to a stalemate when Maryse tagged herself in. One of the Bellas gave Maryse her snap-mare and one of the worst clotheslines I’ve ever seen. But the other Bella was trying to make out with Bryan at ringside, so the legal Bella got pissed. Maryse rolled her up for the win. The Bellas argued outside the ring.
Winners: DiBiase, Maryse and Fox, at 1:02. Just a BIT rushed.
-Another plug for Barrett vs. Punk with Cena as special guest ref.
-The exterior of the Joe Louis Arena was shown, as Cole and Lawler talked about the Royal Rumble. They advertised the matches that have been announced.
-The Bellas were arguing backstage. They passed Michael Tarver, who walked away when they got near him. They barged into Daniel Bryan’s dressing room, and he was on the couch making out with…Gail Kim. Bryan said she’s his girlfriend and they’ve been dating for six months, but they’ve kept it quiet. The Bellas said they thought Bryan was, you know…and he did admit to being a vegan. Kim said the only reason he’s been hanging out with them is because he felt sorry for them- since there are no guest hosts around, they have nothing to do. One of the Bellas asked when the last time “that afterthought” (Kim) was on TV. The ladies started brawling and had to be broken up by refs and Bryan. If this gets Kim on my TV more often, I’m all for it, but they blew through this angle in like one week.
-Nexus came to the ring for a match against the tag champs. It’s next.
-This Friday, Edge and Randy Orton take on The Miz and Dolph Ziggler.
(5) Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris vs. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov McGillicutty went after Kozlov, but it didn’t last long, as Kozlov suplexed McG down. Marella tagged in and worked the arm. Clothesline to the back of the head of Santino, then a tag to Husky Harris. Bodyslam by Harris for two. Rear chinlock applied. Short-arm clothesline into the cover for two. Santino fired back as Harris missed a charge. Hip-toss was unsuccessful, but he went after Harris’ leg. Marella set up for the cobra, but McGillicutty provided a distraction and Harris clotheslined Marella. Harris landed his finisher for the win.
Winners: Harris and McGillicutty, at 3:50. Nice of the Nexus support players to get a pinfall win to give them some in-ring credibility.
-David Otunga asked for a hand for the new Nexus. He asked everyone to give a warm welcome to the man that has sacrificed so much for them, and who they will sacrifice for on Sunday- CM Punk. During Punk’s entrance, they showed Cena walking backstage. He got a ref shirt from someone backstage, then he stopped and gave the guy his dog-tags. Match is next.
(6) CM Punk vs. Wade Barrett- John Cena as special ref- the losing squad forfeits their spots in the Royal Rumble match Before the match, Cena kicked Nexus out from ringside. He was about to start the match, but then sent the Corre back to the locker room as well. As soon as the bell rang, Cena pushed Punk down, and then pointed to his jersey. He slapped Barrett too and again hid behind the ref shirt. Punk attacked Barrett and tossed him over the top rope. Punk said that will be Cena on Sunday. Cena then threw Punk over the top rope. Punk was about to hit Cena, but Cena again showed him the WWE logo on the shirt. What a coward. Barrett took Punk down and went for a cover, but Cena went to ringside to sign autographs. He charged back into the ring and apologized, saying he forgot there was a match going on. Double clothesline by the combatants. Cena told Justin Roberts that he’s DQ’ing both men for the use of too much profanity, since it’s a PG show, therefore both teams are out of the Rumble.
Winner: Double disqualification, at 1:59.
The GM chimed in as Cena was leaving. He said what we just saw was a blatant abuse of power. He can’t change the ref’s decision, but can change the consequences. Therefore both of the groups will all compete in the Rumble match. Talk about a bait-and-switch. In addition, if Cena does not go into the ring and apologize to both men right now, he will be out of the Rumble. Cena apologized, then unloaded on both men, attacking them as Corre and Nexus both ran out to aid their leaders. As members of Nexus attacked, Big Show’s music played. The Raw roster followed Show down and a big Rumble took place in the ring. They continued brawling for the standard final Rumble go-home image.
I thought the big consequence at the end of the main event would be the GM putting Cena at #1, but I guess that would have made the winner that much more obvious.
I feel like the payoff in the Daniel Bryan angle got screwed up somewhere. The timing seemed off, probably not helped by the Bellas' hideous acting jobs. Best part was Gail Kim pointing out that without guest hosts, the Bellas really don't serve a purpose, anymore.
"You wear a disguise to look like human guys, but you're not a man, you're a chicken, Boo!"
CM Punk tweeted the other day that he looked like Ra's Al Guhl, and now we know why - his facial hair. Awesome!
This was the night of pointless stipulations. I love when they pre-determine the first/last slot in the Rumble...but no one got the #40! And then neither heel faction gets kicked out of the Rumble! So why make stipulations that don't even happen in the first place?
For the love of all that's holy, STOP WITH THE "FAT" JOKES! It's idiotic with Vicki and it's even worse with Natalya! (it wasn't just LayCool, Cole got one in there when the match started)
Kudos for Gail Kim for her first angle/personality since she returned to the 'E.
Cena hammed it up in his ref rule (and another unnecessary PG reference). Was he channeling Umpire Frank Drebin while kicking everyone out from ringside?
Originally posted by thecubsfanI'm intrigued by Michael Tarver's new gimmick of being a random background figure.
It would be better if he was wearing his old bandit's mask with the T on it while skulking around.
"You’ve got the crazy eyes." - RAW GM Laptop, 9/27/10
What the hell does everyone see in Ziggler? He sounds like a 12 year old boy, looks like everyone else in the E, has the worst name in the business, and is ripping off an angle that is less than 2 years old.
I had some weird expectations for the way this show was going to end. I kept in the back of mind Meltzer saying in his update today that RAW was rewritten this morning. Then I saw *Michael Tarver* hanging outside of *Daniel Bryan's* dressing room. Then *Daniel Bryan* dumped the Bellas in a way that was clearly sketched out on a napkin at Denny's this morning. All of this right before *John Cena* was going to be alone in the ring with *Wade Barrett*, *CM Punk* and all of their friends. I seriously thought we were getting a WECW Merger-style reboot tonight, with a huge Nexus family reunion. And I thought it was going to end with the GM teasing he would reveal his identity and the Master Plan next week. All of this was going to happen without Skip Sheffield, of course.
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoWhat the hell does everyone see in Ziggler? He sounds like a 12 year old boy, looks like everyone else in the E, has the worst name in the business, and is ripping off an angle that is less than 2 years old.
He's a great wrestler with lots of heel charisma. Using your criteria, AJ Styles sounds like an inbred hick, looks like a create-a-wrestler before anyone's bother to add any features, and keeps on ripping HIMSELF off by joining giant heel stables and eventually becoming their plucky underdog fall guy.
It amazes me how, no matter the popularity/success of a wrestler, there's always someone who steadfastly refuses to grant the popular opinion of them the time of day.
I think Melina has not done the full paparazzi entrance for awhile. If Michael Cole was a better actor or announcer or had someone not named Vince McMahon in his ear to get things over, it would be less obvious he is the GM. The GM part has become played and its time to either reveal its Cole or have Vince declare the brand war over since there is no Teddy, no real talent split and really empathize on one of the two titles. It served its purpose, time to get rid of the wasted talent and move on to bigger things.
Last night, was just annoying. We see Laycool again in the title picture and with weight jokes even though Layla is looking a bit soft in the middle. Cole's heeling it up is almost King 98-2001 where its almost impossible to enjoy the show and King is not JR who can throw an Ex-wife/pedo joke at Cole to shut him up. An hour of Nexus plotting made for a weak show. I don't know where there are going with Gail/Bryan vs. the Bellas. I would say if this was prior to the mixed rules change, I can see one of them pinning Bryan. Vickie and Dolph on the mics was a trainwreck and Miz's once hot title reign is now thawing out.
If Cena's intention was to channel the late Leslie Nielsen then God Bless him, because he was the only one who showed on any signs of life last night. Cena should be possessed more often by talented people. Edge just disappeared after Nexus came down, why didn't he break the laptop again when they were cutting a promo? Not a good episode to try to sell the Rumble, but its the Rumble and it will get good buys. No Way Out is where they are going to have pimp some shit.
Just because there is a popularity opinion of a guy doesn't make it right. Billy Gunn was the heir apparent in 1998-99. I like Dolph, but you talk about generic wrestler, he fits the description. I think he was the template wrestler in one of the games. AJ is one of the best wrestlers in the world has been for some time. Dolph is getting started. AJ is a victim of bad storylines and inane booking which with Vickie at his side, Dolph could be too. Every feud with Vickie in it makes it Vickie vs. wrestler instead of wrestler with Vickie vs. wrestler.
I don't think we will ever see a guy named Dolph Ziggler be a legit main event star. He needs to tweak the name, like Hunter Hearst Helmsley into Triple H. Or just get a new one. Hell, I would accept Nick Nemeth.
Does every Raw, or maybe Smackdown, prior to the Rumble end in a big battle royal like brawl?
The Rumble is always fun, but the midcard is eat up with guys who just aren't over. Unless they are eliminated rapidly, it could result in quite a few dead, heatless segments in the RR.
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Originally posted by kentishI don't think we will ever see a guy named Dolph Ziggler be a legit main event star. He needs to tweak the name, like Hunter Hearst Helmsley into Triple H. Or just get a new one. Hell, I would accept Nick Nemeth.
A title win at the Rumble would give him a great opportunity to reboot the gimmick. But I say he's surpassed the name to the point that he doesn't need to change it. They gave him a crap moniker and a weak initial gimmick (a hello and a handshake), and he worked his way through it. Maybe he should keep the name as a trophy, an FU to whoever hung it around his neck. He's Dolph F'ing Ziggler, and he's a workhorse.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Originally posted by thecubsfanIt feels like there's at least 25% chance that's the end of Melina.
Was this the first night she had an entrance sans red carpet and "paparazzi," or had I just not noticed before?
She's definitely had it earlier in the heel turn, but she hasn't had an entrance in weeks so it's hard to remember. All the non-main event segments seemed short on time, so it could've just been something as benign as opting for 20 extra seconds for the match over the entrance.
If they did that bit with a man, I'd be sure he was gone. WWE seems content to keep women around despite no plans. Gail hasn't done anything since coming back until now, Alicia never even got in her match, Melina could just hang around too. Or they could just switch her out for a newer face tomorrow, who knows.
Originally posted by lotjxJust because there is a popularity opinion of a guy doesn't make it right. Billy Gunn was the heir apparent in 1998-99.
The only person who thought that at the time was Vince McMahon. No one else (especially Austin, who basically said "screw this noise" to the idea) thought he was anything more than a solid mid-card/tag-team guy.
Popular opinion at the time was that they were bat-shit insane if they thought Billy Gunn was going to be a main event guy. Popular opinion was right then too.
See, now the WWE is showing where women's place is with respect to wrestling. Remember, if you are female, there is no place for you in sports entertainment unless you show off your 'puppies' or sleep around.