WWE RAW 1/3/2011

Written By: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Phoenix, AZ
Announcers: Michael Cole and Josh Matthews

A video highlighting what happened between John Cena and Nexus last week opens the show. CM Punk was revealed to be the new leader of the Nexus and left Cena laying with the GTS.

Michael Cole mentions that John Cena will not be on the telecast, most likely, because of the beat down last week and during a house show match with Wade Barrett in Pennsylvania. Cole hypes up the WWE World Championship match between the Miz and John Morrison in a falls count anywhere match.

RAW opening video

Before the first match, footage of the Miz attacking Jerry Lawler last week is shown. Jerry Lawler is not on commentary tonight recovering from his injuries.

Opening Contest: WWE World Champion the Miz defeated John Morrison in a falls count anywhere match to retain the title:
Morrison and Miz brawl on the aisle way with Morrison having to deal with Riley as well. Miz accidentally hits Riley and is scoop slammed by Morrison who gets a two count. Morrison sends Miz into the screen at the top of the ramp way. Morrison sends Riley into a steel structure next to the aisle way. Morrison leaps off a WWE logo and connects with a cross body on both Miz and Riley for a near fall. Morrison tosses Miz back into the ring where Miz elbows Morrison for a two count. Miz rams Morrison back first into the corner and crotches Morrison on the top rope delivering a left punch. Miz sets Morrison up for a superplex but Morrison delivers a flurry of punches and leaps off the top connecting with a missile dropkick for a two count! Morrison works on Miz with a few right hands in the corner. Morrison flapjacks Miz and rolls the champ up for a two count. Miz misses a clothesline and is met with a springboard spinning kick by Morrison. Shining wizard by Morrison for a near fall as Riley pulls Morrison out of the ring. Morrison attacks Riley and sends Riley into the guard railing. Morrison sits Riley on the railing and delivers a shining wizard to knock Riley out on the floor. Miz looks kind of worried in the ring as RAW goes to commercial Miz has control of Morrison over by the side of the stage looking to suplex Morrison on a piece of guard railing but Morrison counters. Miz ducks a clothesline and backdrops Morrison onto the guard railing for a near fall! Miz rams Morrison chest first down onto the side of the ramp and gets a near fall. Miz hip tosses Morrison onto the ramp but only manages a two count on another cover. Miz nails Morrison with box of sorts and gets a near fall on the floor. A table has been set up on the floor, during the break apparently. Miz stomps away on Morrison while taunting him. Morrison fights back with a series of right hands but Miz stops Morrison with a left hand. Morrison and Miz trade a few shots until Morrison clotheslines Miz a couple of times for a near fall. Side Russian leg sweep by Morrison and goes for the starship pain but Miz moves and hits Morrison with a swinging neck breaker for a near fall. Morrison gets out of the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz spears the ring post and Morrison hit’s the Starship Pain but Miz kicks out at two! Morrison misses a shining wizard and is rolled up for a two count. Morrison nails Miz with a pele kick and Miz falls to the floor. Morrison puts Miz on the table. Morrison hoes for the Starship Pain but Miz moves and Morrison crashes through the table! Miz covers but Morrison manages to somehow kick out at two! Miz grabs Morrison and hit’s the Skull Crushing Finale on the floor to retain the title! ***½
After the match, Miz heads to the backstage area relieved that he retained the title. Morrison struggles to his feet as he stares at Miz

Michael Cole talks about a number one contenders match inside a steel cage to find out who will be Miz’s next challenger. We will find out the participants later on tonight!

On Smackdown, we will see Edge defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane in a Last Man Standing match. Also, Rey Mysterio Jr. competes against Alberto Del Rio in a best two out of three falls match.

Backstage, Scott Taylor is standing with WWE World Champion the Miz and Alex Riley. Miz proved that he is still the champion. Miz also says that he is awesome and that his reign will go down as the popular reign ever. Miz says his catchphrase which is finished by Alex Riley.

Michael Cole and Josh Matthews talk about WWE Diva’s Champion Natalya issue with number one contender Melina. Footage of Melina slapping Natalya two weeks ago but failed last week on a slap.

Second Contest: WWE Diva’s Champion Natalya/Eve Torres/Bri Bella defeated Melina/Alicia Fox/Maryse:
Bri and Maryse start the contest with both women rolling around on the mat until Maryse rolls to the floor. Maryse rolls back in and drives Bri down face first to the mat for a two count. Maryse delivers a knee strike to Bri’s back and Bri falls to the floor where Nikki switches places with her sister. Nikki with a face buster on Maryse for a near fall. Natalya and Fox tag in with Natalya clothes lining Fox a few times followed by a scoop slam. Melina enters the ring but goes to the floor where she holds Natalya leg. Fox fails to get the upper hand and is sent over with a double under hook suplex. Melina drops Natalya throat first across the top rope and runs into a clothesline from Natalya. Eve connects with a neck breaker on Melina to win the match. ½*

Third Contest: The Uso’s defeated WWE World Tag Team Champions Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov in a non-title match:
Kozlov takes Jimmy down with a top wristlock but doesn’t follow up. Kozlov has a leg lock on Jimmy briefly as Jimmy reaches the bottom rope. Marella tags in and hip tosses Jey but Jey sends Marella into his corner and double teams Marella with several stomps in the corner. Jimmy drops Marella with a right hand but Marella has a arm lock as he tags in Kozlov. Kozlov tosses Jimmy around and big boots Jimmy followed by a head butt. Kozlov attempts a power slam but Jimmy gets out of it and Jey leaps off the top connecting with a double axe handle. Jimmy is kicked away as Kozlov makes the tag to Marella. Marella ducks a clothesline and hip tosses Jimmy followed by a leaping head butt for a near fall. Jimmy finally clotheslines Kozlov to the floor after a botch. Jey blocks the Cobra from Marella and connects with a Samoan Drop for the win. ¼*
After the match, Kozlov head butts both Uso’s. Tamina and Marella nails Jey with the Cobra.

Michael Cole and Josh Matthews talk about the return of Tough Enough. Matthews, who was apart of the first season nearly ten years, puts over the show.

Backstage, CM Punk is walking to the ring as RAW goes to commercial.

CM Punk’s music hits and out comes the new leader of the Nexus, CM Punk! Punk starts off by saying he loves being Phoenix (which a female fan boos, despite living in AZ). Punk mocks John Cena by saying that he can’t see John Cena because Cena isn’t in the arena tonight. Punk takes credit for taking out Cena. Punk delivered on his huge surprise that he promised last week. Punk mentions that he is a former three time World Champion and that makes him a leader of men. Punk says that Nexus came to him and begged him to be there new leader. We see footage from last week where the Nexus attacked John Cena before CM Punk came out and attacked Cena as well. Punk says he lives by the words Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. Punk believes those words are just a catchphrase for Cena. Punk expects the members of Nexus to live by those words. Punk expects John Cena to stay at home and believes that John Cena can not win this battle. Punk declares that he is taking over the Nexus and Monday Night RAW. Wade Barrett shows up and he is clearly not a happy camper. Barrett says that Cena isn’t here because Barrett destroyed Cena over the weekend in Pennsylvania. Barrett assures Punk that he is the leader of Nexus. Punk cracks a joke about Barrett having several chairs fallen onto him and that Barrett must be confused. Barrett puts over Nexus, his Nexus, and calls Punk a liar about his lifestyle. Punk wants to ask the members of Nexus who the better leader is. Otunga has a microphone and says that both Punk and Barrett make good points. The RAW General Manager has made an appearance and Michael Cole goes to read it. Cole says their will be three men inside a steel cage for the number one contendership for the WWE World Championship. Barrett and Punk could be apart of a match that already has King Sheamus vs. Randy Orton. Punk tells Barrett he can have the spot and doesn’t want to fight Barrett. Punk tells Barrett that if he wins the cage match, he will be the rightful leader of the Nexus. Punk tells Barrett that if he loses, Barrett is out of Nexus and Punk is the leader of Nexus. Punk wants to shake on it and Barrett agrees. King Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett inside a steel cage for the number one contendership for the WWE World Championship later tonight!

Michael Cole and Josh Matthews go over the opening contest between John Morrison and the Miz.

Alberto Del Rio arrives into the arena and has a microphone as he clearly prepared for some action. Del Rio believes his destiny is to be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Del Rio’s destiny is to destroy everyone on Smackdown and here on RAW, Alberto Del Rio will be on the mind of the WWE Universe. Del Rio’s destiny is to win the Royal Rumble and main event Wrestle Mania. Del Rio gets cuts off by R-Truth who comes down rapping. Truth tells Del Rio what’s up and that is for Del Rio to go back to where he came from. Truth is the man who will send him there. Truth wants to fight Del Rio and slaps Alberto!

Fourth Contest: Alberto Del Rio defeated R-Truth:
Del Rio misses a few wild right hands and Truth delivers a few right hands of his own. Truth ducks a clothesline and spin kicks Del Rio. Truth manages to clothesline Del Rio over the top to the floor and connects with a slingshot cross body as RAW goes to commercial. Truth works on Del Rio with a flurry of right hands in the corner. Snap power slam by Truth for a two count. Del Rio blocks a back drop with a boot to the chest and drives Truth down to the mat chest first for a two count. Del Rio hammers away on Truth’s left arm and gets a near fall. Truth gets up and delivers a few shots to break free from Del Rio. Truth’s arm gives out in the corner and is met with a kick by Del Rio. Del Rio delivers a double knee breaker to Truth’s arm for a near fall. Del Rio continues to work on Truth’s arm with a few knee drops and gets a two count moments later. Del Rio keeps control with a top wrist lock of sorts but Truth battles out only to be met with a right hand and a boot to the midsection. Del Rio misses a splash onto the middle rope and crashes to the floor! Truth with a series of clotheslines back in the ring to regain control of the contest. Truth hip tosses Del Rio for a near fall. Del Rio rolls to the apron and rams Truth shoulder first into the ring post. Del Rio locks in the spinning cross arm breaker and Truth taps out after a few moments of refusing.
After the match, Del Rio taunts the fans.

Backstage, Wade Barrett is talking to the Nexus saying that he was the guy who made them all stars. Barrett assures them that they can all be champions. Otunga wants Barrett and Punk to work things out. CM Punk comes over and says that he and the Nexus are pulling for him and wish Barrett luck in his contest. Punk shakes hands with everyone in the Nexus.

Backstage, Randy Orton is interviewed by Scott Taylor. Orton says that last year meant nothing to him. Orton’s main problem from last year was that he was too nice because the Miz stole his championship. Orton mentions that he actually hesitated to kick Chris Jericho in the head last year. “Nice guys finish last.”

Highlights from Miz vs. Morrison from earlier in the night are shown.

Breaking News: John Cena might be returning to RAW next week.

Main Event: Randy Orton defeated Wade Barrett and King Sheamus in a steel cage match to become the number one contender:
Barrett tries to leave but is prevented from doing so and double teamed in the corner by Sheamus and Orton. Sheamus tries to leave but Orton turns around and grabs Sheamus. Orton drops Sheamus with a running clothesline but is met with a big boot from Barrett. Orton gets out of Wasteland and heads to the top of the cage where Orton is stopped by both Barrett and Sheamus. Orton is now double teamed in the corner with several right hands by Barrett and Sheamus. Orton battles back but is stopped with right hands and boots. Barrett attempts to leave the cage but Sheamus is able to stop him. Sheamus clotheslines Barrett and begins to climb up the cage. Orton is up and punches Sheamus back to the ring. Orton stops from being sent into the cage and clotheslines both opponents. Orton was going to go through the door but turns around as he knew he wouldn’t make it. All three men stare at each other as RAW goes to commercial. Orton is at the top of the cage but is stopped by Sheamus! Orton is on the other side of the cage but Sheamus is holding onto Orton! Barrett comes over and pulls Orton back over into the ring. Orton sends Barrett head first into cage and dropkicks Sheamus back first into the cage. Orton punches Barrett a few times and prevents Barrett from leaving the cage. Orton tosses Barrett through the middle rope into the cage. Orton grabs both Sheamus and Barrett going for a elevated DDT but both men prevent it. Sheamus backdrops Orton over the top rope into the cage. Sheamus elbow smashes Orton as Orton comes off the ropes. Sheamus attempts to leave but Orton and Barrett stop Sheamus. Barrett holds Orton and allows Sheamus to get a shot in. Double vertical suplex by Barrett and Sheamus. Barrett and Sheamus trade right hands and boots as Orton is on the other side of the ring. Sheamus head butts Barrett but Barrett manages to send Sheamus chest first into the corner. Barrett climbs up the cage and heads to the top of the cage until Orton grabs Barrett. Orton connects with a superplex and all three men are laid out in the ring. Orton blocks a backdrop attempt from Sheamus but runs into a backbreaker from Sheamus. Sheamus tosses Barrett into the cage several times and power slams Barrett. Sheamus attempts to leave through the cage door but Orton grabs both legs of Sheamus. Sheamus attempts to climb out of the cage as he kicked Orton away but Barrett is able to drop Sheamus throat first across the top rope. Barrett sends Sheamus head first into the cage a few times. Barrett pump handle slams Sheamus but Orton is up and hammers away on Barrett. Swinging side slam by Barrett on Orton. Barrett begins his climb up the cage but Sheamus has gotten up and stops Barrett at the top of the cage. Barrett sends Sheamus head first into the top of the cage a couple of times and Sheamus falls to the mat. Barrett leaps off the top looking for a elbow drop but Sheamus gets his knees up! Orton clotheslines Sheamus a few times followed by a snap power slam. Orton snap power slams Barrett and back suplex Sheamus. Orton plants Barrett with a elevated DDT. Orton runs into a big boot from Sheamus, and Sheamus attempts to leave. Orton punches Sheamus on the top of the cage. Both men are standing on the top rope until Barrett kicks the top rope and crotches both Orton and Sheamus! Barrett big boots both Sheamus and Orton into the cage. Barrett climbs the cage as CM Punk runs down and sits on top of the cage. Punk rips Barrett’s Nexus arm band and knocks Barrett off the top rope! Sheamus big boots Barrett into the cage. Sheamus walks towards the open door but Orton manages to RKO Sheamus! Orton casually walks over the door and escapes to win the bout. **½
After the match, Orton stares into the ring to close out the show.

End of show

My Take: Miz/Morrison was a really good falls count anywhere match with several spots that I didn’t expect to see. Considering WWE is now a PG company, I wasn’t expecting a good brawl but it turned out to be a fun match with several nice spots. A good win for the Miz who needs some momentum heading into the Royal Rumble. I hope Morrison stays in the main event or at least upper mid-card ranks. But, I have a feeling we will see Morrison feuding with Alex Riley or Ted DiBiase sooner than he gets another World Title shot. Hopefully I am wrong after that showing.

I have no interest in the Diva matches, so I couldn’t care less about that division.

The tag match was bad. I don’t consider the four guys involved to be great in-ring wrestlers by any means but they didn’t do a damn thing to keep me interested in the bout. Anyone else figure that Kozlov will eventually turn on Marella and go back to being a badass heel?

I thought the Punk/Barrett/Nexus segment was nicely done. I’m figuring that Barrett/Punk are going to be feuding now, and I don’t think the fans will get behind Barrett. Punk’s promos come across like a good guy, at least they did this week. Perhaps if Barrett is turned face he will act differently but being the guy who actually caused Cena to be hurt, I doubt fans will react to him in the proper way.

Truth/Del Rio was a fairly boring contest which had a outcome that was obvious from the beginning. Looks like Truth is slowly but surely losing popularity.

David Otunga maybe said two lines this week and I was still greatly annoyed by him. Otunga can’t talk as it comes across too much like an actor and not naturally talking. I hate that.

The main event was mildly entertaining but it was obvious that Orton was going over since I don’t see WWE going a heel vs. heel route on pay per view. It always bothers me when wrestlers choose to climb over the top of the cage when the cage door is a much quicker option. Also, why was their a referee inside the cage? Pin falls or submissions weren’t acceptable ways to win the contest. Thought it was dumb to have a referee inside the cage.

Overall, a good World Title match, a fine main interview segment and a decent main event. That seems to be the core of the episode, thus I would consider this weeks RAW a solid show.

Thanks for reading.

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