On RAW, John Cena is set to face the whole Nexus faction in a seven on one handicap match, but we learn right away that Darren Young is still out after last week’s beat down so it’s six on one. Cena has to balance his feud with Nexus with his feud with Sheamus and, with the help of WWE Creative, he manages it quite well.
I finally figured out how you spell the Usos. That’s how you spell it. And we finally get the 3-on-3 mixed tag match we were promised a while back. It’s not a long match but all of these people have raw talent and the potential for more. Guest hosts aren’t on the show every week at this point, but tonight it’s Florence Henderson and at least they have some fun with it. The eight-man tag match she’s mixed up in marks the return of Doink the Clown. I wonder who it is this time? The Santino Bunch takes on and defeats The Regal Bunch when the clown eats the pin.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Money in the Bank matches, but I haven’t given any thought to who I actually want to win. On the Raw side I think I’d like to see Edge capture it yet again. Edge and Orton have a match but the aftermath is far more impressive. Orton and Bourne pull off an incredible spot that is marred by bad camera work until the replay. This is the moment to see from this show.
R-Truth’s replacement is Mark Henry. I’ve made it clear before I’ve never been impressed with him. He and The Miz have a match. It’s awful. The highpoint is Mix dumping garbage on Henry and maybe Henry is hurt too and will also be replaced. They continue to treat Evan Bourne as a mute, which I already addressed in a recent column.
Nexus get plenty of camera time as they beat down several of the faces who confronted them last week, one by one. They even tease going after Sheamus, which becomes important later. The big main event is well booked. The rookies make frequent tags, which covers the fact most of them are mediocre wrestlers, and Cena actually loses after a 450 Splash by Justin Gabriel. I always thought Gabriel was cute but his new haircut upgrades him to hot. The surprise of the night is, when Nexus is predictably beating down Cena, it’s Sheamus who comes to his rescue. It seems Shaemus has decided Nexus is a threat to him as well. What will happen Sunday when Cena faces Sheamus? Will even a steel cage be enough to keep Nexus from interfering?
Over on NXT the season one graduates NEXUS have been invited and apparently they are there to… sit in chairs? The Miz and his rookie Alex Reilly take on Mark Henry and his rookie Lucky Cannon. Mark Henry pins Alex Reilly. LayCool fans will be sad to learn they are not on NXT this week. Perhaps Mrs Undertaker is on her honeymoon trying to consummate the marriage with a deadman with a broken orbital bone.
Last week “Showtime” Percy Watson won the right to host a talk show. He has MVP as his guest. He brings out all the rookies, looking for trouble. The rest of the pros back MVP up. So Matt Striker proposes a Battle Royal. That draws the interest of Nexus who decide to join in. So it’s a 20-man Battle Royal with, in theory, every man for himself.
Nexus bail from the ring and start beating people up when they get eliminated. The problem is the season 2 rookies are all eliminated before a single Nexus member. This whole show is less about the new rookies and more about current RAW storylines. Miz tries to suck up to Nexus and when that fails he eliminates himself and runs. And, despite them saying this is every man for himself, once Nexus eliminates everyone else all six are declared the winner? Sigh. Is making sense too much to ask?
Smackdown promises us a confrontation between Jack Swagger and Kane. Kane is being menacing and all but he never seems to wrestle any more. The events of NXT are not ignored as Kofi Kingston is still showing signs of damage when he faces “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. Kane interrupts before we have a finish and Chokeslams both guys. Other MitB competitors meet when Christian takes on Drew McIntyre. Later Matt Hardy and Dolph Ziggler lock up.
Now something big happens tonight that should not. CM Punk and his minions end up in a confrontation with Big Show as Big Show unveils a custom built 300 pound ladder that will allow even Big Show to get the MitB briefcase. But the segment ends with Cm Punk being unmasked revealing his still shaved head. This storyline dates back months and this could have been a hugely built up reveal at an actual PPV and instead it’s a throwaway on Smackdown. Disappointing to say the least.
Jack Swagger brings his father out and provides picture evidence he was at a picnic winning stuff on Memorial Day. The problem with doctoring photos to be used as evidence is they look doctored even if they are supposed to be real. Swagger gets the jump on Kane at first, but Mysterio appearing is enough for Kane to turn it around. Swagger eventually leaves his own father to get Chokeslammed and Tombstoned rather than face Kane. It’s another case of a non-wrestler taking a bump when WWE makes such a big deal about how only trained professionals should attempt these moves. I learn later that it’s not his real father it’s a former WCW worker. So I guess it’s ok.
After their Pay Per View last Sunday, TNA announces a new top ten contender’s list and Abyss is the new #1 contender. He has a board full of nails. He calls it Janice. That’s not a joke. There’s a ladder match between the Motor City Machineguns and Beer Money that’s really good. Worth watching the episode for, with a great finish. In the main event non-match, RVD and Abyss face off then fight in the ring. Mick Foley suddenly appears on the entrance ramp. Abyss looks shocked. Then the other four ex-ECW guys, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Stevie Richards and Rhyno attack Abyss. The locker room and security slowly come out to stop them, but never enough at once to even the odds. Then the road agents, D-Lo Brown, Terry Taylor, Al Snow and Pat Kenny come out to join the fight. But Snow and another guy side with the ECW guys! Devon shows up on the ECW guys side too. They even bring in police. That is until Dixie Carter makes the surprise announcement that she invited them. As everyone reacts in shock we go off the air…
WWE is doing an outside invasion angle too. But with young guys instead of past their prime vets. And WWE is doing it much better. I don’t know if it’s just dumb luck, but TNA seems to be following in WWE’s footsteps with everything they do. WWE puts on a PPV of Fatal Fourways, TNA puts on a PPV with a main event Fatal Fourway. Now this. TNA needs to find things to do that WWE won’t do, possibly because of their PG rating, and do something that seems original. Or put Paul Heyman in charge.
Overall a decent week in wrestling with even NXT being interesting. I’ve benefited from a major overpayment on my cable/cell bill and will soon receive a $700 credit on my bill. So I can splurge on WWE’s next Pay Per View and catch the two Money in the Bank matches, the cage match and the Mysterio match. That may not be good if Mysterio is hampered by a fake injury. There are a few other matches on the card, including both the women’s titles being defended, but those four matches are the main attractions. Let’s see if they can deliver on the hype.