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