It’s time once again for the RAW Review! Tonight’s show opens with Cena coming out to a mixed reaction. He gets in the ring and says that he heard the “Never give up!” chants and wants to assure everyone that he will never give up. He talks about his loss to Wade Barrett and how he is a member of Nexus because of it. He said that means he has to take orders from Wade Barrett, and if he doesn’t he will be fired. He goes on about it for a bit and then the MIZ comes out (Have an AWESOME Birthday, Miz!) with Alex Riley. Miz and Riley get in the ring and Miz says he is captain of team Raw at Bragging Rights. He said unlike Cena, he doesn’t assemble his teams by judging them personally which is why he is offering Cena a spot on his team. Cena says this is a good idea. He says Miz being team leader is as ridiculous as Betty White doing a spread for Playboy (way to be PG, WWE). Barrett comes out and says he will make this easy. He doesn’t care about RAW or Smackdown, only Nexus and becoming WWE Champion. He tells Cena that he needs his help at Bragging Rights. He needs Cena in his corner at Bragging Rights against Orton. Cena says he can do both. Barrett says no and Riley says Cena should listen to Barrett. The GM buzzes in and tells Wade that even though Cena answers to Barrett, Barrett and the rest of the RAW locker room answer to the GM.
The GM wants the best team for RAW, so tonight he has a group of matches to decide who will be on the team. There will also be a match to decide team captain. The Miz vs. John Cena. Miz says that’s okay and that he will beat Cena tonight and maybe he will cash in his money in the bank contract at Bragging Rights and become champ. He gets in Barrett’s face and Barrett delivers an epic head butt. Everyone gets into a brawl with Cena taking out Miz and Riley. Barrett gets in the ring and is yelling at Cena as Raw cuts to a commercial.
When Raw comes back on, Dibiase and Maryse are in the ring and we get a replay of Goldust stealing the Million Dollar Title last week. This match is for the first member of team RAW at Bragging Rights.
Match: Ted Dibiase (with Maryse) vs. R-Truth (with Eve)
Results: R-Truth wins
I hate R-Truth’s entrance more and more every week. Having Eve with him doesn’t help it any. Sorry. Goldust distracted Dibiase and R-Truth got the win.
Here comes another match to determine spot 2 on team RAW for Bragging Rights.
Match: John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd
Results: John Morrison wins
2 ½ stars for this one. John Morrison ended it with an epic finisher.
Backstage, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater are asking NXT Season 2’s Mike McGillicuty and Husky Harris why they helped Barrett win against Cena. Wade Barrett shows up and tells Otunga to face Orton tonight. Otunga tells Barrett Gabriel would be a better opponent. Wade agrees and tells the others to be in his corner.
Up next, a match to determine the third member of team RAW at Bragging Rights.
Match: Santino Marella vs. Zack Ryder
Results: Santino wins
Giving this one a star just for the sake of Santino winning with the cobra. Tamina shows up and congratulates Santino.
Match: Randy Orton vs. Justin Gabriel (with David Otunga and Heath Slater)
Results: Orton wins.
2 stars for this one. Otunga and Slater got thrown out in the beginning. The match itself was alright. I gave it 2 stars because it was a longer match for a change. That doesn’t usually happen on Raw. The ending was interesting, and I’m curious if the 450 splash was botched or if it was just supposed to look that way. Either way, it looked brutal. They showed a replay, which is why I wonder if it was intentional. They usually don’t replay their mistakes.
Up next, a match to determine the 4th member of team RAW.
Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Results: Sheamus wins
A good match, but an even better commentary screw up. Anyone else catch Michael Cole stating that Daniel Bryan being on team WWE cost them the win at Summerslam? The awkward silence that followed his statement was because team WWE WON at Summerslam. Go read about it here: http://www.wwe.com/shows/summerslam/matches/15092924/results/
Backstage, Cena is sitting and thinking when R-Truth comes in and talks to him. R-Truth asks him about joining Nexus and tells him it’s not sitting too well with the rest of the locker room. He asks Cena if he would take out a member of the locker room if Barrett ordered him to. Cena didn’t answer. R-Truth tells Cena to leave what they all love before he makes too big of a mistake. He says to just quit.
The next match is for the 5th member of team RAW.
Match: Evan Bourne vs. CM Punk (who was traded to RAW from Smackdown for Edge)
Results: CM Punk wins.
That spot where CM Punk tossed Bourne into the barricade was pretty awesome looking. This was a good match; Bourne was all over the place. This was a short match but a good one. After the match, CM Punk beat on Evan Bourne a little more. After reading up on it, I found out that Evan Bourne needs surgery, so this beating from Punk was a good way to write him off. “Nothing personal” – CM Punk.
Out in the ring, Natalya Neidhart has a mic and tells us that Lay-Cool is as cheap as the high heels Layla threw at her at Hell in a Cell. She said Bret taught her to stand up for herself and that she will be walking away from Bragging Rights as the Divas Champion. Lay-Cool interrupts and tell her that they respect her and has more courage than anyone. They say she comes out on national television knowing they are in HD. They continue to insult her and show a picture of her with a photoshopped “Anvil beard”. Natalya congratulates them on being the most annoying divas in the WWE. Lay-Cool talks more and drops the “best there is, was, and ever will be” line. Someone mute the microphones, PLEASE! REAL TALK!
As Lay-Cool are leaving, a line of divas chase them back to the ring. Gail Kim, Melina, Eve, and the Bella twins, to be exact. Lay-Cool heads out through the audience. Natalya and her five friends hang out in the ring.
MAIN EVENT: This match is to decide the team leader at Bragging Rights and it’s a no disqualification match.
John Cena vs. the Miz (with Alex Riley)
Results: Miz wins
2 ½ stars (that’s pretty good, folks). A good match. Ended with Husky Harris and Michael McGillicuty attacking Cena to help Miz get the win. They got back in the ring after it was over and taunted Cena. Cena attacked them but Wade Barrett got in the ring and Cena started fighting back until he realized what was happening. The GM chimed in and said next week on Raw, Harris and McGillicuty would face Cena and Orton next week on Raw. Barrett says if Cena loses, Barrett will induct Harris and McGillicuty into the Nexus and that he is sure Cena will do the right thing next week. Cena starts to stand up to Barrett. Barrett taunts Cena and says he won’t put a finger on him because he’s a coward. The tension picks up as Barrett continues to taunt Cena. The arena fills with boos from the crowd and Barrett is soaking up the heat. I loved every second of it. Cena starts to leave. Barrett orders him to stop and Cena stops halfway up the ramp. Barrett tells Cena until next week “you can’t see me!” and Cena walks away in embarrassment. Great way to end the show.
This week’s slammy award goes to Wade Barrett because of that ending promo. It was glorious.
Last week’s show rating: 3 out of 10.
This week’s rating: 8 out of 10.
7 matchups, an arena filled with tension, emotion and heat like that deserves such a good rating. I’d have gone 8.5, but Michael Cole should be punished for his commentary screw up. Take that, Cole!
See you guys Friday night for the Smackdown Review!