Before getting down to the coverage, I want to say that i’m not even going to talk about Florence Henderson and this week’s guest host segments. I used to defend the concept, thinking it fitted well with RAW’s place as a pop-culture juggernaut, but with the perspective of general managers since Bret Hart, it now appears needless and often detremental to the show. Everything this week that regarded the guest host was goofy, and desrves no further comment. While there have been good guest hosts in the past, it’s spot as a regular feature needs to be stopped now. That’s not to say there can’t be one off guest hosts every so often (i’m mainly thinking of The Rock’s rumoured future angles), but it can’t remain as it is.
After the decent promo by Cena setting up the main event (including a funny line about Nexus, calling them the ‘clan of NNNNNNN’, referring to the appearance of their shirts in a line), we had Alicia Fox against Gail Kim. Alicia is really coming in to her own in and out of the ring, and, despite my initial misgivings, has become a great Divas Champion already. Her athleticism and potential meeting the experience and talent of Gail made for a good match with some nice, technical stuff from both, and a pretty good finish with Fox reversing Gail’s finisher. Unfortunately, time was against them. It must have been a five minute match at best. Give it another, say five minutes, and you make a really really good divas match, that builds a lot better to the PPV match. I really like Alicia and Eve, but I doubt many will be more inclined to buy Money in the Bank because this is on the card. It’s not their fault, just time-restraints.
I have a lot of respect for the Hart Dynasty. They have all the talent in the world, but this feud with the Usos is one of the most uninteresting feuds I have ever seen. The wrestling (at least from the Harts) is of a very high quality, but we’ve seen nothing new since it started several several weeks ago. The Usos attack from behind, win by cheating, or the Harts fend them off. Nothing new has happened. For a while, Natalya brought some intensity to it, but even that’s disappeared. This match could have been fought on any of the previous week’s RAWs and made no difference to the storyline, and that is terrible. As soon as MITB has taken place, they need to drop this feud like a David Arquette title reign!
A very fresh feud is materialising between Ted DiBiase and John Morrison, fuelled by antagonism not only related to violence, which is always a good start. Unfortunately, while DiBiase is a pretty good mic worker (without being fantastic) and Maryse is always intriguing and slightly off-the-wall, John Morrison continues to be held back by his mouth. While i’m not much in to French jibes, he had a great opportunity for some funny lines when ‘translating’ Maryse’s french. Instead is said stuff about smelly hippo breath and platypus’s. Does he expect that to go down well? Well it didn’t. Nonetheless, they are capable of some great matches and an interesting feud if someone writes Morrison’s material for him.
Our first main event was a tale of two halves. Edge and Orton will always draw, but the first half of their match was a bit of a slow, bitty affair. Nothing much of interest happened, and I started to wonder whether they were holding back, as the momentum was more than once stalled. The match eventually grew though, and the in-ring chemistry we would expect from two with so much history started to come to the fore. One of the best segments was when we had a build up to an RKO attempt, blocked by Edge who then went for a Spear, which Orton jumped over, leading Edge to the corner for a School Boy near-fall. Great back and forth and believable, dramatic near-falls. Jericho then came down to distract Orton, allowing Edge to finally deliver a Spear for the win. The aftermath was all about MITB though, as Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Edge before eating an RKO. Bourne then hit the ring, looking for a revenge scalp on Orton, setting him up for a Shooting-Star Press, and quite possibly the best spot i’ve ever seen, in terms of technicality if not threat. With Bourne in mid-flight, Orton gets up and hits the MID-AIR BOURNE WITH AN RKO! Don’t take my word for it though, i’ll show you the post-match footage:
Miz was up next. The sort of attention he’s getting has to make him, along with Orton, a favourite for the MITB match. Cole told him he would be facing the replacement for R-Truth in the match, Mark Henry. I like Mark Henry, he’s paid his dues, but he’ll be dead weight in the RAW MITB match. The rest of the field are more light, agile guys, which isn’t essential, but a lot easier to pull off in a way that will make good wrestling. Why not put Yoshi Tatsu instead and give him a good showing. He’s certainly a lot more capable than Henry in this situation! Saying that, it remains to be seen how they sell Henry’s injury after colliding with the GM podium. Maybe he’ll be replaced too, which would make Miz look even better. I would have liked a double-count-out from the ref; it was a bit lame that the match just stopped.
Throughout the night, Nexus had been singling out some ofthose that came out to defend Cena last week: Yoshi Tatsu, John Morrison and Evan Bourne (who, for someone being pushed for having great ‘heart,’ looked terrified!). Semantically, this was very good. By definition, Nexus are tight-knit and work as one whereas the RAW roster have had to put personal differences aside to take them on, a message which Sheamus seemed to get when they looked to turn on him.
The much-hyped 6-on-1 match was alright without being special. Perhaps there would have been more jeopardy had they not have had to tag, but I suppose then it would have just resembled another beat-down. For a while, I had a horrible feeling that Cena would go over, but thankfully, he didn’t, and the correct result came after several of the Nexus hit their finishers. It was clear when that familiar uneasy feeling came over the ring with Nexus preparing to assault Cena, that Sheamus would be making a save. Indeed, a bloodied Cena was joined by Sheamus to fight of the Nexus with chairs. It may not seem like much, but this was the sort of change this story needed with Sheamus potentially even turning face! The new aspect of two bitter rivals coming together for the good of the wider spectacle is one of great interest and contrasts well with the story of others, Chris Jericho for instance, who are happy to see Nexus attack certain guys, and even encourage it. For one thing, it means John Cena isn’t once again the sole centre of attention, which must be good. This is a step in the right direction. What is needed now is, by next week, either the identity of the GM to be revealed, or the Nexus to gain an established WWE guy (again, Jericho is the most likely) to lead them, probably the latter seen as I think they’re holding out for the possibility of Daniel Bryan being revealed as GM.
I understand TNA are starting an ECW invasion of iMPACT! While, if I remember correctly, the ECW angle has been planned for a long time and so they’re not simply copying WWE, the comparison is there to be made, and I will be doing so in a seperate post.