It’s another week in WWE (and maybe TNA) as we move closer to Summerslam. Cena has his team. How will Nexus react? RAW begins with Cena making lame Super Friends jokes until Jericho comes out to make it clear he’s not a good guy despite joining Cena’s team. Cue the anonymous e-GM to force Jericho and Cena to tag together tonight. Nexus will face 7 WWE Superstars in an elimination match as well.
The Uso start being used as singles jobbers as Jay provides Randy Orton with little competition. Orton takes down Jimmy Uso, Sheamus and even The Miz when he tries to cash in Money in the Bank. The GM decides to make Miz and Cena the ones to face Cena and Jericho. Edge isn’t a fan of The Great Khali, which leads to a match where, if Edge wins, Khali is off Team Cena. But Nexus doesn’t let them finish the match so Edge bails on Khali. Weirdly, Nexus lets Khali leave without attacking him. The 7 WWE “stars” are Goldust, Mark Henry, The Hart Foundation, Yoshitatsu, Evan Bourne and… Jerry Lawler? Nexus is being so heavily protected they win this without losing a single member. And after looking so good lately Evan Bourne is left to be Nexus’s whipping boy.
The tag match is the main event. Neither side get along. They can’t even agree who will start, a classic way of demonstrating tension between partners. There have been “Y2J” chants on and off all night. People seem willing to get behind him as a face; but he makes such a great heel I’d rather he stay that way. In the end it’s Jericho who betrays Cena and allows The Miz to get the win. Yes, The Miz just pinned Cena. I’m sure some fans heads exploded upon seeing that. Then again, K-Fed owns a win over Cena, with the footnote that it was due to an attack by the late Umaga. Cena attacks Jericho and locks on the STF. That draws Khali to break it up, then get Speared by Edge. Morrison and R-Truth join the party and the message is hammer to the skull obvious. The Nexus are a untied force acting as a perfect unit. Cena’s team is falling apart. But, since I can’t see any way Bret Hart is actually going to take a bump big enough to remove him from the match, I’m still sure Cena’s team will win.
On NXT the focus is back on the rookies, not storylines going on elsewhere. There’s an elimination tonight, but not before some half-decent matches. They treat Eli Cottonwood like a bit of a joke this week so it’s no surprise he’s the one going home. Michael McGuilicuddy, who improved to 5-0 tonight, moves up to first place. Kaval, who is still doing a good job without having a winning streak handed to him, holds on to second.
Smackdown starts with Kane telling us his brother regained consciousness long enough to speak the words “Rey Mysterio” which Kane assumes means Rey was responsible for the attack on The Undertaker. There’s a good Christian/Drew McIntyre match with a weak finish that sees Christian win on a roll-up. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes’ grooming tip vignettes are actually pretty effective at making me dislike him. And I’m just sick of Alberto Del Rios.
CM Punk’s feud with Big Show continues as Show faces Luke Gallows. It’s a DQ when the SES jump Show and try to break his arm. The good news though is that Punk pulls off the sling so presumably he’s either ready to go again or close to it. So expect Punk/Show or a handicap match at Summerslam. Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston have yet another non-title match. This time, if Dolph wins, he gets a title shot. Kingston goes a little nuts and pounds on Ziggler until he’s disqualified then continues until he is pulled off. It makes Kofi look more aggressive than he usually has but it’s pretty foolish to hand a guy a title shot with a DQ. The problem with Kofi/Dolph and Christian/McIntyre getting long matches is there isn’t enough talent in them to be really good. So a lot of this show is acceptable, but not great, wrestling.
Tiffany has a title shot, but Vickie Guerrero officially recognizes LayCool as co-Women’s Champions and allows McCool to defend the title. Tiffany’s ring gear is not conducive to taking her seriously as a competitor. Tiffany never had a chance here, but Teddy Long intervenes and says only one of them can be champion. They have to decide who that is or Long will make a ruling next week.
Our main event is Jack Swagger facing Rey Mysterio yet again, but this time it’s no disqualifications. Since they are in Corpus Christie Swager vows to throw Mysterio into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the most exciting match of the night, but since when does no-DQ also mean falls count anywhere? Swagger does, indeed, take Mysterio out of the building before the match is through. They fight outside for quite a while, but it’s Swagger who goes in the ocean and apparently the All-American American can’t swim. Mysterio opts to leave him to drown. Kind of cold there Rey, but it’s Kane who has the last laugh as he shows up and puts Rey in the drink as well.
An okay show but nothing outside the main event was special. Still, Summerslam is shaping up nicely and Nexus continues to seem new and fresh. So they’re doing something right.
As for TNA this week… look I realize ECW rarely announced many PPV matches in advance, but I have no clue what is going to take place at Hardcore Justice outside the leaks from the dirt sheets. Word is the main event will be RVD versus Jerry Lynn. Who is clamoring to see that?
Eric Young is back to being a goofy comedy wrestler but they are still keeping him a heel, for now. It’s not working well. Ric Flair invites Beer Money to fill out Fortune. So after dragging this out for this long and constantly teasing they would have somebody new to join it’s the same four people we expected from the beginning? AJ at least renames the Global Championship the Television Title. It’s not original, but it is an improvement. AJ is next in line for Kurt Angle (who is rumored to be trying to crawl back to WWE on a limited schedule) in his climb up the rankings.
Match three in the Beer Money / Motor City Machineguns best of five is a cage match. With Beer Money already up by two the Guns win, of course, since they plan to drag this all the way out to two Pay Per Views from now. At least it’s a really good match and Roode bleeds a bucket.
Word is nobody likes Eric Bischoff at TNA. He’s said to be totally out of touch, but he’s back on TV plugging something big for the August 12 Impact. Because TNA doesn’t actually want to succeed, Abyss interrupts before Eric can finish. Abyss wants to book the main event for the August 12th show. He wants a Janice on a Pole match with RVD, and yes, Janice is a board with nails in it. Useful for driving off Kang and Kodos. We finally see the champ on the show as he saves Bischoff from the wrath of Janice, but Abyss turns the tables and Al Snow has to show up to steal Janice and keep Abyss from using her on RVD. That draws Tommy Dreamer for his main event Hardcore Match against Abyss. Both these guys know how to put on a Hardcore Match, but neither are at their peak of performance. It’s a nice brawl, but the tag Cage Match was better.
I put more effort into TNA this week to give people a better sense of where it’s at right now. It is not in great shape. Sure there are some good matches, but they are throwing away time on an ECW (sorry make that EV 2.0) reunion that won’t build their brand at all. At least, outside the reunion storyline, the focus is shifting to current and rising talent rather than wasting airtime on The Nasty Boys and Scott Hall, but what matters is people being willing to spend money on your brand, and this brand is as weak as the global economy.
Until next week, when the PPV build should be in high gear on both shows, remember, wrestling is more real than most reality shows.