Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Little Rock, Arkansas
Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler
Martin Luther King Jr. video briefly airs to start RAW
John Cena’s music hits and out comes John Cena to kick off the show to a huge ovation. Highlights from three weeks ago where Cena was taken out by CM Punk and Nexus is shown. Cena has a microphone and mentions that the attack was three weeks ago. Cena says this is the first time he has been in a WWE ring in 2011. Cena has several new year’s resolution which includes taking care of CM Punk, win the Royal Rumble and head to Wrestle Mania to become the new WWE World Champion. Cena calls out CM Punk but instead we get WWE World Champion the Miz an Alex Riley. The Miz questions Cena’s statements that he is going to regain the WWE World Championship. Miz believes that Cena is played out and is the most must see champion in WWE history. Miz says that since he has been champion, RAW has been more entertaining than it has been in years. Miz mentions that the Royal Rumble match will now have 40 guys instead of 30. Miz suggests whoever wins the Royal Rumble match to not come after him at WrestleMania. Miz assures everyone that they will lose if they come after his championship. Cena mocks Miz’s statements and says that Jerry Lawler should be the WWE World Champion if it weren’t for Michael Cole. Randy Orton should also be WWE World Champion if it weren’t for Alex Riley. Cena continues to insult Miz, which are just jokes and not very serious at all. Miz chimes in and calls Cena “corny.” Miz is sick of the statements that he is afraid to fight. Miz knows that he can wrestle with the best brawlers in WWE history. Miz will finish his catchphrase once he destroys Randy Orton. Cena thinks a match between himself and Randy Orton sounds Wrestle Mania worthy instead of the Miz vs. John Cena. Cena predicts that Miz will not make it to WrestleMania. Cena suggests that Miz do something about it if he doesn’t agree with him. Before anything can happen, CM Punk and the Nexus make their way out to the top of the aisle way. Punk tells Miz that he doesn’t need to prove himself to that jerk, John Cena. Punk says that John Cena will not be winning the Royal Rumble since there are 40 superstars involved. Also, Punk announces that he and the Nexus are in the contest. Punk believes that Cena has zero chance of winning the Royal Rumble. Nexus make their way down to the ring, minus CM Punk. Cena fights off the three men until Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov run down to save Cena! The Nexus bail from the ring and head up towards Punk. Punk has a huddle with his members and now Punk walks to the ring along with his followers. However, the RAW General Manager has sent Michael Cole a message. Cole says he wonders what the odds are that Punk would beat Cena without the Nexus at ringside. So, if any Nexus members come to ringside they will be kicked out of the Royal Rumble match!
Jerry Lawler hypes up a match between Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton taking place later tonight!
Opening Contest: WWE World Tag Team Champions Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov defeated the Uso’s to retain the titles: Marella hip tosses Jay to kick off the match but is distracted by Jimmy which allows Jay to dropkick Marella from the middle rope for a near fall. Marella is double teamed briefly and Jimmy gets a near fall. Jay tags back in and works on Marella with several strikes before getting a near fall. Marella gets out of a sleeper hold with an arm drag and catapults Jay across the ring. Kozlov tags in and big boots Jay followed by a series of head butts. Big power slam by Kozlov for a two count. Kozlov dumps Jimmy to the floor and is super kicked by Jay in the midsection. Kozlov head butts Jimmy and tags in Marella. Marella nails Jimmy with the Cobra and picks up the win. DUD
Backstage, the Nexus are trying to think of something to do until CM Punk walks over with a smirk on his face. Punk just tells them… faith.
John Morrison is walking backstage until he sees WWE United States Champion Daniel Bryan who is kissed by the Bella Twins. They have a match… next!
Second Contest: John Morrison defeated WWE United States Champion Daniel Bryan in a non-title match: Bryan with a go behind and switches to a wristlock to control Morrison. Morrison is able to take Bryan down over with an arm bar and a wristlock until Bryan rolls out and slams Morrison down to the mat. Morrison nails Bryan with a back elbow but runs into a dropkick. Morrison falls to the floor where he avoids a baseball slide and they both head back into the ring as RAW goes to commercial. Morrison has a headlock on Bryan to keep control until Bryan punches out of the hold. Morrison boots Bryan and follows up with a side Russian leg sweep. Morrison misses the Starship Pain! Bryan kicks Morrison in the head and gets a two count on the cover. Bryan and Morrison run off the ropes and collide as they attempted cross body blocks. They get up and exchange right hands until Morrison gets the upper hand. Morrison lands on his feet on an attempted German suplex. Bryan rolls through a hurricanrana and gets a near fall. Bryan blocks a kick and attempts to lock in the Labelle Lock but Morrison gets out of it and catapults Bryan into the corner. Morrison springboards off the middle rope and kicks Bryan across the side of the head. Morrison connects with a running knee strike and pins Bryan. *1/2
After the match, King Sheamus comes out and has a microphone. Sheamus tells Morrison that before he wrestled Sheamus, Morrison was just floating around in mediocrity. Sheamus doesn’t believe anyone is in his league. Sheamus believes he will win the Royal Rumble and says “long live the King!”
Backstage, the Bella Twins are going to have a competition to win over Daniel Bryan. May the best woman win.
Vickie Guerrero comes down to the ring and introduces the Smackdown number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler.
Third Contest: Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler: Orton gets the upper hand with several stomps on Ziggler after being backed into a corner. Orton catapults Ziggler throat first into the bottom rope but only gets a near fall. Orton has a sleeper on Ziggler but Ziggler gets out of it with a jaw breaker. Ziggler dropkicks Orton’s knee and gets a two count. Ziggler works on Orton’s left knee with several stomps. Ziggler jumps down across Orton’s knee and drops Orton’s knee across the ring apron. Ziggler also wraps Orton’s leg across the ring post. Orton tries to fight back in the corner and delivers several right hands and stomps. Orton backs Ziggler into a corner and gets several shots in until Ziggler stops the offense with a standing dropkick for a two count. Orton avoids a wild right hand and hits Ziggler with a headlock backbreaker. Ziggler misses a big splash in the corner. Orton clotheslines Ziggler several times and connects with a snap power slam. Orton grabs Ziggler and goes for an elevated DDT but Ziggler gets out of it and chop blocks Orton’s left knee. Ziggler comes off the ropes connecting with a Fame Asser but only gets a near fall on the cover. Ziggler gets out of a back suplex and has a sleeper hold on Orton! Ziggler is on top of Orton’s back to add extra pressure to the hold. Orton avoids the Zig Zag and plants Ziggler with the RKO in midair as Ziggler attempts to jump on Orton’s back for a sleeper hold. Orton pins Ziggler. **
After the match, the Miz and Alex Riley run down to the ring and attack Orton. Orton fights back on the floor until Miz sends Orton shoulder first into the ring steps. Miz tosses Jerry Lawler over the guard railing into the crowd as Miz goes to use the announcers table. Miz rams Orton back first into the ring post. Miz gets a few more shots in as Orton is held by Riley. Miz and Riley send Orton crashing through the guard railing. Miz stands over Orton and finishes his catchphrase from the opening segment!
Backstage, CM Punk is talking to the Nexus about faith. Actually, he is just repeating the word faith three times. Punk explains to them what faith is truly all about. They all put their heads down to end the segment. What the…
Fourth Contest: WWE Diva’s Champion Natalya defeated Maryse in a non-title match: After about three minutes of action, Natalya forces Maryse to submit to the sharpshooter. NR
After the match, Eve shoves Maryse for some random reason before just walking away. Maryse flips out at Michael Cole. Ted DiBiase comes out and Maryse calls DiBiase a loser and thinks that DiBiase is forcing her to lose. DiBiase grabs a microphone and says he can throw anyone over the top rope. DiBiase issues an over the top rope challenge to anyone on the RAW roster.
Fifth Contest: Mark Henry defeated Ted DiBiase in an over the top rope challenge: Henry splashes DiBiase in the corner but DiBiase comes back with a dropkick. Well, DiBiase lasts about ten seconds as Henry tosses DiBiase over the top rope. NR
After the match, Several lower mid-card guys run down into the ring and begin to have a Royal Rumble contest. I don’t think this is actually a match, but whatever. Regal, Kidd and Primo are eliminated quickly. Henry has Ryder up for a press slam but Sheamus runs in and chop blocks Henry. Sheamus eliminates three other mid-card guys. However, Henry is able to dump Sheamus over the top rope to the floor. Alberto Del Rio music hits and comes out with a fancy car. Del Rio continues to say that it is his destiny to win the Royal Rumble and become the WWE World Champion. That’s just about it. He showed up on RAW just to say that?
A video of some doctor promoting “World Strongest Man” cologne is shown. There is a warning about various outlandish things that animals will do if the cologne is sprayed by him. Apparently it’s a guy from NXT, which I don’t watch, so I don’t know him.
A video promoting the Royal Rumble match is aired. Following the video, Lawler and Cole promote the matches scheduled to take place at the 2011 Royal Rumble.
Next week on RAW, Edge will wrestle the Miz in a champion vs. champion match.
Backstage, John Cena is walking to the ring.
Main Event: CM Punk defeated John Cena by disqualification: Cena gets the upper hand with a flurry of right hands and a running bulldog. Cena sends Punk into the corner and continues to hammer away on Punk. Cena sends Punk hard back first into the corner and continues to club away on Punk with right hands. Cena covers Punk but only gets a one count. Punk blocks a back drop with a boot to the chest and baseball slides Cena to the floor as RAW goes to commercial. Punk has Cena in a head scissors and delivers several elbow strikes to Cena’s trapped head. Cena manages to get to his feet but Punk gets off Cena’s shoulders and plants Cena with a DDT for a near fall. Punk kicks Cena several times on the back and gets a two count on the pin attempt. Punk goes back to a head scissors to keep the advantage. Cena gets up and shoulder blocks Punk twice. Cena connects with a twisting side slam and signals for the five knuckle shuffle, which he connects with. Punk gets out of the Attitude Adjustment and hits Cena with a spinning heel kick for a near fall. Punk nails Cena with a running knee strike in the corner and drives Cena down with a running bulldog for a two count. Punk taunts Cena and goes for the GTS but Cena counters it with the STF. Punk struggles to the bottom rope and manages to reach the rope! Double running clothesline knocks both men off their feet. Cena goes for another Attitude Adjustment but Punk battles to the apron and kicks Cena on the side of the head. Punk connects with a springboard clothesline but only gets a two count on the cover. Punk works on Cena with several strikes and gets out of the Attitude Adjustment again. Punk drives Cena down to the mat and has the Anaconda Vice locked in! Cena manages to reach the bottom rope! Punk boots Cena off the apron and Cena crashes to the floor. Cena catches Punk’s attempted cross body and rams Punk back first into the ring post. Punk stops Cena on the top rope with a right hand and delivers a boot to the face. Punk goes for a superplex but Cena blocks the attempt. Cena head butts Punk down to the canvas. Cena stands on the top rope and connects with a diving leg drop to the back of Punk’s head for a near fall! A developmental guy who looks like Batista, jumps on the apron and distracts Cena. Punk kicks Cena on the back of the head. The man is Mason Ryan from FCW. Anyway, Ryan big boots Punk, who apparently wanted that to happen to cause the DQ. ***1/4
After the match, Ryan plants Cena with a big side slam! The new Nexus runs down and want to fight Mason but Punk tells them not to. Punk has a smile on his face and Mason drops down to a knee. Punk puts the N wristband on his arm, allowing him to join the group. Nexus stand tall with their arms raised to end the show.
End of show
My Take: I enjoyed the opening segment with Miz, Cena and Punk. It may have gone on a little too long but I enjoyed it to be honest. I think a John Cena vs. the Miz title match is going to happen at WrestleMania and I can support that. I’m just getting sick of Cena always cracking really dumb jokes, something he kind of mentioned by saying “I’m trying, but its PG guys.” At least he knows he is corny.
I hated the tag team title match and the crowd was dead for it. Who honestly cares about the tag team division?
Not surprised that John Morrison went over Daniel Bryan as he needs to keep his winning streak while he is getting a push. The match didn’t get much time, so I expect they could do much better on television with more time. Not a complete waste of time, though.
Orton/Ziggler was a decent match as well, but the RKO stuff is really getting predictable and losing the shock value. It’s kind of getting like the Diamond Cutter that DDP used. Sure it’s a nice finisher but for me it is becoming just another Orton move. Also, not a big fan of Ziggler losing clean here considering he has a major title match in two weeks. Ziggler needs all the momentum he can get leading into that match since he is new to the main event scene. A fine beat down by Miz and Riley after the match. However, one thing that bugs me is how often they do the spot where someone goes crashing through the guard railing. It’s the second time they have done that, the first time being on Smackdown with Big Show going through it. Come up with something better, please?
Eve on commentary was just horrible. The whole segment with the Divas was just horrible.
Poor Ted DiBiase has become just a complete and utter jobber. I remember when people were predicting he would be the next big thing in WWE. That sure as hell didn’t work out.
I really enjoyed the main event as I thought Punk and Cena did a very good job. Mason Ryan joining the Nexus is a fine addition in my opinion. Mason is pretty much RAW’s version of what Ezkieal Jackson does on the Smackdown Nexus. I haven’t seen Mason wrestle before so I don’t know if he is any good, but with Punk as he mouthpiece, Mason is in a pretty good position.
Overall, the main event was the only good match in my opinion. The opening segment was good but everything between the opening segment and the main event was bad, for the most part. A mildly entertaining RAW this week. I would say this is a average all around show with a good main event.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.