Monday, July 26, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/26/10 from San Antonio, TX.

The Big News: Nexus is united while the Raw team is in shambles headed towards SummerSlam.

Show Analysis:

John Cena came out to start the show and was mostly serious this week. He said that the Raw wrestlers have finally had enough of Nexus. He declared that they will end Nexus at SummerSlam and show that Nexus isn’t invincible. He then launched into a stupid comedy routine about superheroes that completely took the steam out of what had been an effective promo.

Chris Jericho interrupted and surprisingly received rather loud Y2J chants. He took issue with Cena referencing “his team.” Jericho said he didn’t join Cena’s team but rather is in it to get back at Wade Barrett. Jericho said it was his team. Cena said that was fine because he just wants to beat Nexus. Jericho started yelling at Cena so Cena slapped him.

Jericho told Cena that there is another threat to the company beyond Nexus. Jericho said Cena himself always walks all over the show. He said that after they get rid of Nexus he will get rid of Cena. The anonymous GM then announced the match at SummerSlam will be an elimination match. I think that’s a more interesting match but it has also becomes trickier to effectively book.

The GM also announced Nexus in an elimination match on Raw and a tag team match with Jericho and Cena wrestling against a mystery team. The e-mail closed with the DX catchphrase. This gimmick of throwing in random taglines of former stars is completely ineffective in building interest in the identity of the GM. On the whole, I thought this was a strong opening segment.

Randy Orton beat Jay Uso with a powerslam, draping DDT and RKO. Sheamus watched from ringside. After the match Jimmy jumped Orton but Orton fought him off and gave Sheamus the RKO. Miz then ran in and went to cash in MITB but of course was interrupted, this time by an Orton RKO. I really liked the cash in attempt last week but doing the same thing two weeks in a row felt contrived. I was just waiting for Miz to be interrupted, which is not the mark of good storytelling. It didn’t make Miz look like much of a threat either, which should theoretically be the goal.

Backstage, Edge told Ted DiBiase that he would rather have DiBiase on the team than Great Khali. He ran down Khali as clumsy and stupid and said he might try to take Khali out of the match. Ranjin Singh overheard this and after the break Khali confronted Edge. He challenged Edge to a match. Edge accepted but said that if he won Khali was off the team. Back in the ring, Sheamus and Miz were arguing when the GM said they would be wrestling Cena and Jericho in the main event.

Great Khali and Edge’s match didn’t really happen. As they were getting started, Nexus came out. Edge ran off into the crowd. Nexus circled Khali but decided against attacking and Khali left.

Nexus beat Mark Henry, Hart Dynasty, Goldust, Yoshi Tatsu, Jerry Lawler and Evan Bourne. Tatsu hit some kicks on Tarver but Tarver used this weird powerslam deal for the pin. Lawler came in with punches, a drop kick and a second rope fist drop on Gabriel for two. During a commercial break Slater eliminated Lawler. Smith went for a powerslam on Slater but Slater escaped and hit a leaping side Russian leg sweep deal for the pin.

Goldust came in with a lariat and inverted atomic drop on Slater. However, he was tripped coming off the ropes and Otunga hit a spine buster for the pin. Henry was next in with a gorilla press on Otunga. He threw around Slater and hit a high kick on Young. He followed with body slams on Sheffield and a corner avalanche on Gabriel. Sheffield then hit a clothesline on Henry for the pin.

Tyson Kidd was next in with a springboard attempt but was caught by a Sheffield clothesline. Sheffield tagged Young and Young hit a weird full nelson into downward spiral type deal. That left Bourne, and Barrett tagged in. Bourne hit a high knee but was quickly overwhelmed and given the forward fireman carry slam for the pin.

After the match, Gabriel gave Bourne the 450 splash. Barrett then said that Nexus is united behind a common purpose while Cena’s team isn’t united because of individual egos and agendas. Sheffield said Nexus will sacrifice for the good of the group and are unbreakable. Tarver said they will eliminate until only one opponent is left and he hopes it is Cena so they can rip him apart.

Okay, so the pseudo-push of Bourne is completely over as he was utterly buried for like the fifth week in a row. Putting that aside, I really liked the booking of this segment. They gave each face some spots but the heels all went over clean. This pretty much exactly what you want to be doing heading into the big PPV showdown with the Cena team.

Backstage, Sheamus told Miz that Miz will never be able to defeat Sheamus. Miz threatened to turn on Sheamus later in the show and then cash in the briefcase on him. Elsewhere, Randy Orton said he doesn’t care who has the title going into SummerSlam because he’ll leave the event with the title.

Alicia Fox beat Brie Bella with an ax kick. Jillian Hall was at ringside to counteract the other Bella but wanted to sing after the match so Alicia laid her out too.

Ted DiBiase beat John Morrison. R. Truth did commentary. DiBiase worked over Morrison. Morrison came back with kicks but as he set up for starship pain Maryse got up on the apron. The idiot Morrison decided not to execute the move and instead turned his back on DiBiase to walk towards Maryse. God I hate that spot and they do it multiple times every week. DiBiase rolled up Morrison and put his feet on the ropes but Truth pushed them off. DiBiase shoved Truth and there ended up being an accidental collision between Truth and Morrison. DiBiase covered for the pin. Afterwards, Morrison and Truth argued.

Miz and Sheamus beat John Cena and Chris Jericho. Miz and Sheamus worked over Jericho for a while. Jericho got the tag to Cena. Cena came in with shoulder blocks, a Cena slam and the five knuckle on Sheamus. Jericho then hit the code breaker on Cena. Why he wrestled a long match and got beat up only to attack a guy he’s going to be teaming with in a few weeks I’m not really sure. In any event, Miz covered for the pin.

After the match, Jericho went for the Walls on Cena but Cena reversed into the STF. Great Khali had Cena break the hold. Edge then gave Khali a spear. All the team members started pushing and shoving. Khali hit a chop on Morrison.

I like the story of Nexus being united while the Raw team can’t keep it together. With that said, it would have been better if they told the story more slowly and subtly. It felt like practically instantaneously everyone on the team hated everyone else for little good reason to the point it felt kind of contrived.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was another very solid show. It was serious and focused on building up the PPV. The best periods for Raw this year have been the shows heading into WrestleMania and SummerSlam because the desire to build up a big PPV makes the television itself more tightly booked and interesting.

Monday, July 19, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/19/10 from Tulsa, OK.

The Big News: Raw set up its top two matches for SummerSlam.

Show Analysis:

Randy Orton won a three way match over Chris Jericho and Edge to earn a title shot against Sheamus at SummerSlam in a strong opener. Edge and Jericho double teamed Orton to start but then turned on each other. Orton hit both with a double DDT. Orton took over on Edge but Edge avoided an RKO attempt and Jericho gave Orton the code breaker. Jericho covered but Edge broke up the pin.

Edge and Jericho brawled to the outside. Back inside, Orton hit a clothesline and powerslam on Jericho. He followed with clotheslines and a back breaker on Edge. Orton went for the draping DDT on Jericho but had it reversed into the Walls. Edge broke that up with an implant DDT on Jericho. Edge went for a spear on Jericho but had that reversed into the Walls. Edge made it to the ropes.

Edge clotheslined Jericho out of the ring and went for the spear on Orton but Jericho cut Edge off with another clothesline. They did a series of rollups. Jericho countered an RKO attempt by Orton but then missed the lionsault. Orton finally hit the RKO on Jericho. He then caught Edge with another RKO and covered Edge for the pin.

The result was very predictable but this match was still exciting because of the great work of the participants. They also told a really good story with Orton continually getting thwarted in his attempts at the RKO throughout the match only to finally get it at the end for the win.

After the match, Edge told Jericho that they have been going at each other for 11 years and it has to end. Jericho said it would because Wade Barrett and Nexus would do his bidding and take out Edge if he asked. Edge said Nexus would join him instead and pointed out Jericho was taking credit for their success.

Nexus came out. Barrett first put over both as worthy allies. Nexus then jumped and beat up Edge. Jericho put Edge in the Walls. Nexus then turned on Jericho and beat him up as well. This was kind of a weird segment because it seemed like they were blowing off Jericho and Edge but I guess they felt they needed to do something to explain Edge and Jericho joining John Cena later in the show. I liked the segment because it positioned Nexus very strongly compared to perennial main eventers Jericho and Edge.

Backstage, Barrett said that he will prove Nexus can get it done individually as well as collectively. Sheamus then came to Barrett and said he had a proposal for him. Elsewhere, John Cena said he brought his problems upon himself because he thought out of pride he could stop Nexus on his own when he couldn’t. Cena said he had something to say to Barrett and Nexus in the ring and concluded, “If you can’t beat them” before leaving. Cena doing the phony trepidation gimmick is at this point right up there with Brett Favre feigning retirement on the ridiculously obvious disingenuousness scale.

Eve Torres beat Maryse in a bizarre match. Maryse was showing off her new jewelry before the match. Basically nothing happened in the match. Less than a minute in after a random kick Eve pinned Maryse. Maryse, the heel, got her foot on the ropes before three but the referee didn’t see it and counted the pin. Ted DiBiase argued with the referee afterwards until John Morrison came in, attacked DiBiase, and hit starship pain.

Sheamus came to the ring and pointed out he has defeated John Cena in tables, 4 way and cage matches. He said that he is dominant over Cena. He announced that he has made a truce with Nexus and with Nexus out of the way Randy Orton doesn’t stand a chance. Sheamus vowed to be the longest reigning WWE champion of all time. Yeah, and Batista is going to be the next UFC heavyweight champion. Miz came out to interrupt Sheamus. He said he controls the fate of the title because he won Money in the Bank. He said that he will be watching and waiting for his chance to strike. He labeled himself Sheamus’ celebrity stalker. The anonymous GM then made Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne.

Sheamus beat Evan Bourne in a good match. Sheamus worked over Bourne while Miz watched from ringside. Bourne came back with a series of kicks and a crossbody off the top to the floor. Sheamus then hit the bicycle kick for the win. After the match, Miz attacked Sheamus repeatedly with the briefcase. This got cheers and Miz was kind of greeted as a face in Oklahoma. He gave Sheamus the skull crushing finale on the briefcase and went to cash in MITB.

As Miz was waiting for Sheamus to get up and the match to begin, R. Truth ran in. Miz decided against cashing in, beat up Truth and left. I liked pretty much everything about this segment. You had a good match. They put over Miz as a threat and important character, while getting over the MITB cash-in as a big future event. The only negative was the way they treated Evan Bourne.

Backstage, Miz said that Truth cost him the WWE title but that there will be more opportunities. He again got cheers. I hope they move through Miz vs. Truth quickly because Miz should be well above Truth’s level from here on. Orton then told Sheamus backstage that having the title has made him a target. He vowed to take out whoever has the title.

Santino and Vladimir Kozlov beat William Regal and Zach Ryder. This was even better than your average WWE comedy segment because they kept it simple and just let Santino be amusing. Regal and Ryder beat up Santino. Kozlov tagged in and hit a big boot, powerslam and power bomb. Kozlov tagged back Santino, who hit a diving head butt for the pin. Santino then of course celebrated wildly.

Wade Barrett beat Mark Henry. Henry hit a head butt, clotheslines and a power slam. He went for a second rope splash but Nexus came out for the idiotic distraction finish and Barrett hit a really sloppy version of his finisher (the forward fireman carry drop) for the pin. I was shocked they didn’t book Barrett stronger here. There’s really no defense for it.

To close the show, Nexus met with John Cena in the ring. Michael Tarver gave his word that they would hear Cena out. He said that if Cena keeps resisting they will make the rest of his short career difficult. Tarver wanted an apology from Cena. Cena came to the ring again teasing serious concern. He asked for a truce with Nexus. Barrett said no and wanted Cena to join Nexus instead. Cena said he couldn’t do that.

Barrett said that Cena had the choice to leave the ring with his tail tucked between his legs like a coward or stand and get destroyed. Cena left, but then announced that his peace offering was actually just a test and that he will take out Nexus. He introduced his team for SummerSlam: Edge, John Morrison, R. Truth, Great Khali, Chris Jericho and Bret Hart. That’s quite the group. I guess the question is who turns and costs them the match. The Cena group hit the ring and Nexus ran away.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was the best edition of Raw in a while. It was a serious show directed towards building up characters and SummerSlam matches. Not everything was perfect but the more shows like this one the better.

Monday, July 12, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/12/10 from Lexington, KY.

The Big News: John Cena couldn’t overcome the odds against Nexus.

Show Analysis:

John Cena started the show. He was still grinning, amused and telling jokes even after flipping out last week and being faced with a 6-on-1 match (since Darren Young was out selling injuries) this week. To his credit, he underplayed the comedy to a degree even though the writers seem to have no conception of how to book a serious wrestling feud.

Cena said Sheamus will eventually realize that when it comes to Nexus all the WWE guys are in it together. He then added that he will take the title from Sheamus. That doesn’t sound like all in it together, Mr. Cena. Cena tried to get over that no one can interfere in a cage match, which is kind of undermined by recent historical fact. Cena vowed to take out Nexus six on one.

Nexus showed up on the stage. Wade Barrett said Cena has brought his troubles upon himself and that there is a bigger picture for Nexus. The anonymous GM then sent an e-mail saying that if any WWE wrestler got involved in Cena vs. Nexus they would be suspended for 90 days but that if Nexus didn’t tag in and out they would be suspended 90 days. Cena said he would take a few Nexus guys down with him.

Alicia Fox beat Gail Kim. Eve Torres did commentary. Gail used some arm drags. Alicia hit a high knee. Gail went for eat defeat but Alicia avoided that and hit a sloppy ax kick for the win. The anonymous GM then announced Alicia vs. Eve for the title at Money in the Bank.

The Usos and Tamina beat Hart Dynasty and Natalya. Tyson Kidd hit a somersault senton off the apron onto the Usos. The Usos worked over Kidd. Smith tagged in but was cut off pretty quickly with a superkick and top rope splash for the pin. It’s ultimately not a big deal but I do wish they had a few more tag teams the title challengers could beat on their way to a title shot. It’s hard to make Hart Dynasty vs. Usos seem important when they have done variations of that match so many times already.

Backstage, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho shook hands and were cordial together. Jericho was asked about this but declined comment. Barrett and Nexus then approached Yoshi Tatsu. Tatsu said that Cena is his friend so they beat him up a little.

Ted DiBiase and Maryse came to the ring. They look like bigger stars all dressed up. DiBiase said he wanted to introduce the best power couple in the WWE, but he was talking about himself and the MITB briefcase rather than Maryse. Maryse seemed annoyed but DiBiase told her to imagine what he will give her when he wins the match.

John Morrison came out and took a shot at Maryse saying the French don’t bathe. Maryse then cut a promo in French on him. He then did the old comedy deal where he fake translates what she says. That is always such an easy comedy opportunity but Morrison was given the worst material ever and it died a horrible death. DiBiase attacked Morrison. Morrison got the best of the fight but Maryse pulled DiBiase out before Morrison could hit starship pain.

They did a parody of the Brady Bunch opening song introducing an 8 man tag match later in the show featuring Santino and William Regal. Florence Henderson then spoke with Santino backstage. A laugh track was added in. Regal tried to get the laugh track but didn’t and was annoyed. Henderson ended up slapping Regal for making a Partridge family reference. I thought all of this was amusing and enjoyable.

Edge beat Randy Orton. Orton hit the Garvin stomp and followed with punches, clotheslines and power slams. Orton’s draping DDT attempt was reversed into an Edge implant DDT. Edge went for the spear but Orton kicked him. Orton went for the RKO but Edge escaped. Edge missed another spear and Orton rolled him up for two. Orton hit a back breaker, but Chris Jericho came out. Orton did the old “turn your back on your opponent” move and Edge rolled him up for the pin.

This match started off without a lot of heat but it really picked up towards the end and got pretty hot before the terrible finish. I’ve said it before but they really need to retire the cheap distraction finish. It accomplishes nothing positive, it’s ridiculously overused, it’s a crutch for more thoughtful and effective storytelling, it looks fake as hell, and it makes the loser look like a significantly bigger fool than if he just got pinned clean.

After the match, Chris Jericho gave Edge the code breaker. Orton then gave Jericho the RKO. Evan Bourne ran in and went for a shooting star press on Orton but was caught on the way down with an RKO. I wouldn’t have figured they could make that look good on live TV but all credit to Bourne and Orton because they totally did. It was a great looking spot. Backstage, the Nexus guys jumped John Morrison.

Miz came out and said that R. Truth got off easy because what happened was little compared to what Miz will do to his other opponents at Money in the Bank. The anonymous GM announced Miz vs. the new MITB participant Mark Henry. The GM added “just when you think you have the answers I change the questions,” which is a tease of Roddy Piper.

The Miz-Henry “match” was bizarre. Henry hit a press slam but accidentally ran into the GM podium. Miz then emptied a plastic garbage container on Henry and hit him with this plastic container. And the match just ended like that with Miz acting like the shot with the plastic object was some big heat angle.

Santino, Great Khali, Vladimir Kozlov and Goldust beat William Regal, Zack Ryder, Primo Colon and Doink the Clown. Florence Henderson announced the match and Regal kept threatening to attack her from behind which was hilarious. Regal hit knees on Santino but was distracted by Henderson parading around in his coat. Santino used the cobra on Regal for two. Khali then hit the Khali chop on Doink for the pin. Santino wanted a kiss after the match from Henderson but she kissed Khali instead.

Edge backstage thanked Jericho for take wakeup call about the nature of Money in the Bank. He noted he has been in more of those matches than anyone. Edge said he knows to be ruthless and loves destroying the lives of others. He again said that the fun truly begins on Sunday. This was a good promo.

Elsewhere, Sheamus confronted Evan Bourne. The Nexus guys came in and Sheamus left them to beat up Bourne. Sheamus then started to rub it in when the Nexus guys came back. They teased attacking Sheamus and Sheamus ran away like he was Bobby Heenan or something. He asked where John Cena’s locker room was and ran for the hills.

I’ve never believed in booking tough heels to act like cowards but WWE has done it all the time in recent years. A Jericho or Edge works well as a cowardly heel. But Sheamus or Orton acting cowardly as a heel just undermines what makes them an effective heel in the first place.

Nexus beat John Cena. Cena beat up Michael Tarver with punches and then did the same to Justin Gabriel. Heath Slater attacked Cena from behind and Skip Sheffield took over. Slater hit some belly to back suplexes. Otunga used a suplex and Irish whip. Barrett hit a yakuza kick.

Cena came back with shoulder blocks, the Cena slam, five knuckle shuffle and FU on Barrett. However, Sheffield tagged himself in and hit a big clothesline. Otunga followed with a spine buster and Gabriel hit the 450 for the pin on Cena. This match was a reminder of the lack of talent among the Nexus group as pretty much every move in this match was really, really simplistic.

After the match, Cena grabbed a chair and tried to fight off the Nexus guys. The heels circled the ring and were about to go after Cena anyway when Sheamus ran in with a chair of his own to make the show ending save. This seems like one of those swerves that’s such an obvious swerve you wonder why they even bother doing a swerve in the first place. I guess we’ll see though.

Final Thoughts:

Raw has settled into a little bit of a groove, or at least a consistent pattern, in recent weeks. It’s not great, but it’s better.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

1 Hour Special on LeBron's Narcissism Thursday

I'm surprised LeBron didn't ask for a three hour special.

Monday, July 05, 2010

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/05/10 from Nashville, TN.

The Big News: The Raw locker room is no longer united against Nexus.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Wade Barrett and the other Nexus guys in the ring. Thank God Barrett is back. Barrett said they can’t reveal why they attacked Vince McMahon but that it needed to happen and it’s part of a much bigger picture. Vince thought he had control of the thing but had no clue as to their agenda. I like the idea of a larger scheme yet to be revealed, so hopefully they have something solid planned. Skip Sheffield said that what they did to Ricky Steamboat was just for fun. He added that now people are more interested in Steamboat’s DVD so he should be thanking them.

The Raw GM then sent his first e-mail of the evening. They added a goofy, stupid touch where the lights in the building flash at the exact moment the e-mail arrives in this laptop connected to nothing. The e-mailing premise is goofy and unbelievable enough without additional signs the whole thing is a contrivance.

The mystery GM said that Nexus’ punishment is that none of them can compete for a WWE title until further notice and that the no touch rule has been lifted. Given that weak punishment, it would certainly seem that the GM is in cahoots with Nexus, will lift the WWE title opportunity ban at the right moment and then reveal him or herself after Barrett takes the title.

John Cena appeared at the moment of the GM announcement and said that Nexus hasn’t yet been in a fair fight. He apparently gathered Randy Orton, R. Truth, Evan Bourne, John Morrison and Hart Dynasty in the 15 seconds following the announcement that the no touch ban was lifted and they came to the ring for a fight. Even more amazingly, in the five seconds following Cena’s announcement of his plan, seven heels conspired to react to it. Sheamus, Edge, Chris Jericho, Ted DiBiase, Miz and Usos attacked the faces literally as they were coming to the ring and Nexus left. The timing of all this made no sense.

Cena wanted to know why the heels stopped the face attack on Nexus. Sheamus responded that if Nexus wants to take out Cena the heels are cool with that. Orton said Nexus is a serious threat to everyone and challenged the heels to a 7 on 7 match. 8 seconds elapsed, during which time the GM apparently considered the situation and wrote and sent a very lengthy e-mail. I guess that kind of works if Michael Cole is the GM but it doesn’t otherwise.

The GM said that the MITB participants would be in separate action against each other in a series of matches. The GM added that John Cena and Wade Barrett would have to shake hands and call a truce. Cena suggested instead that he attack Barrett, and the GM then immediately shot back another prolonged e-mail telling Cena to do the right thing and that’s the bottom line because the GM said so.

I like the idea of teasing the identity of this mystery GM, but geez, shouldn’t the first serious tease be someone plausible as opposed to an obvious red herring? Throwing out the red herring first just makes people less likely to take future clues seriously. Anyway, this was quite the opening segment. I like the direction they seem to be pointing the angle but the execution itself felt really contrived and fake.

Ted DiBiase beat John Morrison. Morrison sure has lost a lot of steam recently. Maryse did commentary. They told the story that people think she’s a gold digger but she claims to have quickly fallen in love with DiBiase. She took a phone call during commentary. DiBiase worked over Morrison. Morrison came back with punches and clotheslines. Maryse walked onto the apron in Morrison’s jacket, distracting Morrison and allowing DiBiase to gouge his eye and hit Dream Street for the pin.

Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov beat William Regal. Prior to the match, Kozlov threatened to hurt Santino if they lost. Regal then vowed revenge on Kozlov and said he got himself a monster in Khali. Kozlov hit head butts on Regal. Santino tagged in but Regal destroyed him with knees and an exploder. Kozlov tagged back in and hit the choke slam on Regal for the in. Khali was never in the match and gave Regal a chop after the match. Santino and Khali danced.

Jerry Lawler did a tremendous job seriously introducing footage of the Steamboat angle from last week. He made it seem like a big deal and a real situation. Arn Anderson backstage was going to talk about it but was interrupted by Sheamus. Sheamus called Arn a pathetic old man. Arn said he was never blind and stupid and talked about the Nexus hostile takeover. Sheamus said that Nexus is smarter than the Horsemen because they know not to screw with him. Arn said that Sheamus is fine now but in a month there may be no one left to ally with. Sheamus said he doesn’t need anyone because he’s the champion. This was a good segment.

Miz was going to wrestle R. Truth. Miz did another rap but then attacked Truth with a microphone as Truth was laughing. Miz posted Truth and went after his arm and shoulder. Miz ran down Truth and vowed to hurt others as Truth was helped to the back. They were putting over Miz more seriously here and it felt like they were trying to bury Truth too the way he just hobbled to the back as Miz was running him down. They later announced Truth is out of the Money in the Bank match.

Edge did his Cutting Edge segment. He mockingly showed sympathy for Truth, saying that Truth only knew one song but he did it well. Edge noted that he’s smart and won’t make enemies when Nexus could be his allies. He introduced Evan Bourne but Chris Jericho came out instead. Jericho’s eyes were really bloodshot.

Jericho said he wouldn’t take a backseat to Bourne. He accused Edge of pandering to Nexus but added that he was Wade Barrett’s pro and sculpted Barrett. Edge and Jericho bickered back and forth and ended up fighting. Evan Bourne came out to fight but ducked out as Jericho and Edge started to try to double team him. The mystery GM then e-mailed, “If you want some action, give me a hell yeah.” The GM booked Edge and Jericho vs. Bourne and Orton.

Randy Orton and Evan Bourne beat Chris Jericho and Edge in a good match they gave a lot of time to. The faces had the advantage for a while, with Edge and Jericho having trouble getting along. The heels took over on Bourne. As Orton got the hot tag, Jericho hesitated taking the tag from Edge. Orton gave Jericho a power slam and draping DDT but was cut off by an Edge distraction and Jericho enzuigiri.

The heels then took over on Orton. As Bourne finally got the hot tag, Edge hesitated on the tag from Jericho. Jericho started running down Edge but then ran into a Bourne kick. Edge proceeded to spear Jericho and Bourne hit the shooting star press on Jericho for the pin.

After the match, Orton gave Bourne an RKO. This spot leading into a multi-person match can work with the right characters. But here it only served to ruin the match result and bury Bourne. It didn’t help Orton or the PPV one iota either. This was really bad booking.

Randy Orton spoke backstage with David Otunga, Michael Tarver and Heath Slater. They apologized for involving themselves in Orton’s title match at the last PPV and said they wouldn’t interfere in Orton’s MITB match. They said they couldn’t say the same for the main event, so we’ve basically got guaranteed interference in the cage match. The basic idea is if Orton is friendly with Nexus he can win MITB and cash it in on the beaten down winner of the main event. Orton didn’t tip his hand on how he felt but told them to leave. This was a cool little way of adding intrigue.

The Usos backstage were happy about getting a title shot against the Hart Dynasty at MITB. They said they will take the titles. Alicia Fox then came in and wanted to know why she hadn’t been interviewed since winning the women’s title. She said she would show what she’s got against Eve Torres. That led to a very brief match where Alicia beat Eve. Alicia fake sold her ankle for a while and then when Eve came in Alicia kneed her and hit a bicycle kick for the pin. Eve looked like a fool here.

Wade Barrett came out for the final segment of the show. He told John Cena that everything Nexus does has a purpose and it’s unfortunate Cena got caught up. Barrett encouraged Cena to come out and shake hands like men, because Cena isn’t in their future plans.

John Cena joined Barrett and did his phony serious expression. He wanted to know if he had Barrett’s word. Barrett said yes and extended his hand but Cena pulled back. Cena then transitioned to his goofy comedy shtick, babbling about nothing. Finally, he put on his serious face. He’s like a play actor rather than a realistic character caught up in an actual conflict.

Cena finally delivered the serious promo he should have given from the beginning. Cena said the future is him taking out Barrett and each and every one of the Nexus guys. He delivered this really well. Barrett said if Cena didn’t shake hands there would be serious consequences. Cena took his hand but then went for the FU.

Nexus ran out to attack Cena. Evan Bourne came in but got jumped as well. John Morrison was next and he got cut off too. Then Mark Henry came and brought in the cavalry. A ton of wrestlers hit the ring and the GM then interjected. The GM called for peace and said there would be consequences if everyone didn’t stop fighting. Cena proceeded to apply the STF on Darren Young.

The GM responded by making Nexus vs. Cena 7 on 1 next week. A livid Cena threw Young hard into the post, threw the steps at Young, and threw him over the announce table. I will be so happy if they make Cena’s character more serious and cut down on the comedy, but I’m not holding my breath.

Final Thoughts:

This show was okay. There was plenty of good and plenty of bad mixed together up and down the show. One thing I like is it seems they have a plan of where they are going now, and that’s the first time I’ve had that sense since they started the NXT angle.