With Money in the Bank out of the way it’s time to start thinking about Summerslam. Will WWE try to milk one more match out of Cena and Sheamus? Will The Undertaker return? Will Triple H? And when will The Miz cash in his Money in the Bank title opportunity?
Raw starts announcing Wade Barrett is going to have a real match against Mark Henry tonight. Eventually these guys have to wrestle real matches. The we move right into a Triple Threat Match to determine the #1 contender at Summerslam. Cena isn’t even in the match. It’s Edge, Jericho and Orton which makes it pretty likely Orton is going to win. As is usually when two heels are in a Triple Threat match they spend some time in an alliance taking on Orton. These guys would have to work to have a bad match so it turns out to be great action for the first match of the show. When Randy Orton finally manages to RKO both his opponents he earn his #1 contendership. This match could have been on a Pay Per View, even Wrestlemania.
Edge refuses to leave the ring. He wants Jericho to come back and Jericho obliges him. Edge complains they have been going back and forth for eleven years and it has to end. Jericho thinks he has Nexus in his corner and he wants them to help him take Edge out for good. Nexus do come out, and decide to take down Edge, but only so they can focus on Jericho next.
Sheamus comes to the ring to announce he has forged a truce with Nexus. So there’s nothing to stop him from having a long title reign. That draws out Mr. Money in the Bank, The Miz. Wow, that’s tortured grammar. The Miz reminds us what having a Money in the Bank briefcase means: he can demand a title shot at any time. No notice, no warning, all he needs is to get the champ in the ring and bring a referee. Sheamus is not impressed by GM-o-matic tells Miz to stand by and watch as Sheamus faces Evan Bourne.
It turns out to be another decent match and The Miz watching on adds drama. Bourne is quite athletic and willing to take risks. More importantly he’s given the freedom to cut loose with some risky moves. That makes him exciting in the WWE landscape. Bourne gives Sheamus some trouble but, of course, Sheamus wins. But The Miz attacks Sheamus and Miz looks to cash in. But when R-Truth interrupts The Miz rethinks his strategy hits R-Truth with the briefcase and runs off with it.
Santino and Koslov have no established tag teams to take on so William Regal and Zack Ryder are thrown together to give the wacky ethnic pairing another win.
Wade Barrett has to stand on his own in the main event against Mark Henry. The other Nexus members are banned from ringside. Barrett manages to heft Henry for his finisher, a Fireman’s Carry then a forward flip to slam to the mat. It’s not exactly pretty but it’s impressive nonetheless. The rest of Nexus are on the scene quickly so Cena can have his discussion with them. Cena comes out and actually offers a truce, but Barrett will have none of it. He wants more. He wants Cena to join the Nexus, but Cena never wanted a truce, he just wanted to reveal the team he has out together to face Nexus at Summerslam. First, there’s Edge, fresh off his earlier beatdown. John Morrison is no surprise. R-Truth joins the party, then comes The Great Khali, who has no reason to dislike Nexus yet. Jericho has also changed his tune and joined Cena. That’s six. Will it be even numbers? Yes it will as Cena brings out his seventh member: Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The Nexus run from a fair fight and the home team is standing tall as the lights go out.
The last five hours of WWE programming have been awesome. Expect NXT to break the streak. The show features an MVP Lounge, a pros with their rookies tag match and an obstacle course for immunity in next week’s elimination poll. Michael McGuillicudy wins this one. He probably didn’t need immunity anyway. Not bad by NXT standards, which is still not good.
Smackdown opens with the new champion and hey, I can get behind Kane right now. Maybe not for a long reign, but his last reign only lasted one day so this is already an improvement. Kane is on fire on the microphone lately and this is no exception. At first it almost looks like they’re turning him heel but no, he’s still out for vengeance. There’s no automatic rematch when MitB is cashed in so tonight Rey Mysterio faces Jack Swagger in a rare 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the #1 contender. Jack Swagger goes for serious heel heat by bad mouthing Eddie Guerrero.
Four of the Money in The Bank losers meet in a decent tag match, Christian and Matt Hardy take on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Matt accidentally hits Christian, or was it an accident? That lets the heels pick up the win. LayCool continues to be fun as Teddy Long informs Layla she’ll defend her title, which Michele keeps claiming they share, against Tiffany.
Dolph Ziggler gets another shot at Kofi Kingston, non-title. It takes a fair amount of help from the annoying Vickie Guerrero but Ziggler eventually chokes out Kingston. Big Show faces the mystery man in the Straight Edge Society and, once again giving away too much too soon, unmasks him to reveal Joey Mercury. Does anyone remember Joey Mercury? Does anyone care?
They are really shoving Albert Del Rios down our throats.
The main event is certainly long for a TV match. Swagger gets DQed for refusing to break the ankle lock for the first fall. Rey then taps to the ankle lock. Rey scores a surprise win on a rollup and we’ll see Rey versus Kane at Summerslam. My gut tells me Swagger will find his way into the match anyway and make it a triple threat. It’s not a bad match but Rey’s injury, real or imagined, makes it less exciting. Swagger attacks Rey post-match only for Kane to make the save. Kane seems ready to attack Rey, but raises his hand instead. Then attacks him only for Rey to come back. I don’t know if Rey is really injured so he has to take it easy, but if he can’t cut loose he might as well be on the shelf. If he needs surgery then get surgery.
TNA barely rates mentioning these days. Their Pay Per Views are now coming in below 10,000 buys in North America. They were pulling numbers like that when their TV show was on Saturday night at 11 p.m. They are the joke of pro wrestling. Now they are beating the dead horse that is ECW? Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer can still do fine mic work but if these guys could still go in the ring TNA would have already been using them. This smacks of utter desperation. I barely want to watch TNA for free. Why would I ever pay for it? The actual wrestling can be quite decent at times, like this week’s match between Kurt Angle and Hernandez, but the packaging around it is usually pathetic. WWE makes me care about almost every match. TNA give Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe a ten-minute time limit, which telegraphs the draw ending. The tag match between the Motor City Machineguns and Beer Money is also decent. But it’s a best of five series and Beer Money went up 2-0 on referee screw-ups both times. It’s repetitive and means the Guns will win the next two. Even AJ Styles winning the Global Championship is a yawn since that title is such an afterthought. In the end, TNA is just treading water now. They’re forgoing their storylines for an ECW tribute. It’s a nice sentiment and they have very little to lose, but I don’t see it helping them improve. And they desperately need to.
No Pay Per Views this weekend, at least not from the big three US companies. So why not spend time with family or go outside?