It could be a great week in pro wrestling. WWE build to Summerslam. TNA put on a loaded TV card and Ring of Honor, lost their champ to WWE. Not all the news can be good. TNA gets its own column this week so this column will be focused on WWE. Let’s saddle up.
Bret “The Museum Piece” Hart opens RAW. He wants to put Humpty Dumpty back together by calling out Jericho and Edge. Why is Hart wearing a t-shirt with an old school Batsignal on it instead of WWE merchandise? Only Jericho answers. Bret tries shaming Jericho into rejoining the team but Jericho still says no. He thinks Bret is more scared of him and Edge than he is of Nexus. That draws Edge to feign respect for Hart. Once again Bret can’t take a bump so the brief scuffle that follows is just a sad joke. Why is Bret Hart wrestling not managing? We all know what shape he is in. Meanwhile, Nexus is taking down The Hart Dynasty backstage.
Evan Bourne’s star seems to be no longer rising as he gets squashed by an increasingly aggressive and intense Miz. Melina is back, which means she does the great entrance again. She gets a non-title win over Alicia Fox. So will Summerslam feature Melina vs. Fox or Layla versus McCool? Or both? E-GM makes the Fox/Melina match during a commercial. Way to make the women seem important.
Mark Henry wants on Team WWE but Nexus don’t even let him get to the ring to face Ted Dibiase. And Sheamus doesn’t even wait for them to help Henry to the back. Sheamus is getting repetitive as he calls out Randy Orton. Yes Sheamus has never beaten Orton. We got it the first time you said it. Physicality is averted by the E-GM announcing anyone who interferes in their Summerslam match will be suspended. Sheamus does get his wish though, no rematch if Orton loses. Sheamus tries to weasel away but Orton jumps him, only to have Sheamus fight back and it turn into a brawl after all. But the mighty Sheamus is left looking scared to death of Orton.
The NXT rookies are wrestling on RAW? Was there another ash cloud and half the roster is missing? Oh, they’re just here for Sheamus to snap on. Zach Ryder never seems to get pushed, tonight he and William Regal do the job to R-Truth and John Morrison to make that pair look strong going into Summerslam. I wrote the previous sentence before the match actually started and didn’t have to change one word.
Let’s ignore the diva crap. So Nexus finally go after Khali backstage and injure his knee. The Miz makes Cena and Hart each ask him if he’ll join the team and even then says he won’t tell them until Sunday. That leaves the main event, John Cena and Bret Hart verses Edge and Jericho with Nexus as lumberjacks. Edge and Jericho throw Cena to Nexus all they can until Nexus turns on them. Nexus face off against Cena and Hart, out come Morrison and R-Truth and, yes Virginia, Edge and Jericho return to the fold. Six drive off seven leaving only one uncertain spot for Sunday. And therein lies the problem with RAW. They have been spinning their wheels since Cena announced his team, only to end up right back where they started. If the Nexus members could have actually wrestled real singles matches during the past month we could have gone somewhere. But the Sacremento crowd was red-hot so RAW does its job and WWE looks good going into Summerslam.
There’s an elimination on NXT and Mark Henry is off selling the beatdown from RAW. They do a silly boxing machine contest where the winner gets to appear on the next RAW without having to share the spotlight with the other rookies. What if the winner gets eliminated? Way to give away that this is fixed. It’s not entertaining and Alex Reilly wins.
They do a 3 on 3 match so, before the half hour mark, all the rookies have wrestled and the challenge is over. We have elimination and a Miz/John Morrison match left to fill this out. The Miz/Morrison match is actually half decent. Of the same calibre are your average RAW match. Kaval takes number one, McGuillicuddy second, then Percy Watson, Husky Harris moves up to fourth. So Alex Reilly is on the block, which is a surprise, so is Lucky Cannon, not a surprise. Since Reilly is on RAW next week it’s obviously Cannon who goes home. But the big news is that we’re going to have a double elimination next week.
That bring us to Smackdown. We open with Vickie Guererro and Dolph Ziggler, who looks ridiculous in a Hawaiian shirt and lei. Our new and more aggressive Kofi Kingston jumps Ziggler and that draws Teddy Long. Long sets a rematch between Kingston and Ziggler for Summerslam and Ziggler versus Rey Mysterio too. Vickie says Kingston should have to face Kane tonight. Long tries to assert his authority and block it but Kingston wants the match, right now.
The match is decent with Kofi doing a great flip on the outside, only to strike the ring post with his leg. That gives Kane an opening and once he takes Kofi apart he hits the Tombstone Piledriver for the win. Kane recaps why he hates Mysterio and claims he is the Devil’s favorite demon. That draws Mysterio to claim to be God’s humble servant. Really? Religion? Is that the road we want to go down now? Nothing new here, just last minute plugging for Sunday.
Christian is back despite his the injuries two weeks ago that meant “his arm would never be the same.” Drew McIntyre wants Cody Rhodes to take out Christian and finish the job he started. Cody is “dashing” so he’s not worried. Christian’s shoulder is the story of the match and plays into Rhodes eventual victory. Big Show crushes three jobbers. CM Punk points out, they’re just jobbers.
Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre face off for what seems like the twentieth time. It gets the 9 p.m. timeslot which means they have more faith in it than I’d expect. A lot of the action takes place outside the ring, with very inconsistent ten-counts by the ref, until McIntyre traps Hardy’s ankle between the levels of the ring steps and stomps on them. Hardy manages to fight back to the ring but McIntyre takes him out with his finisher DDT variant.
Swagger comes out to complain. MVP comes out to remind him a year ago MVP actually still mattered. Swagger clobbers MVP with a microphone and that devolves into a match. And, long story short, it’s an incredible upset as MVP actually picks up the win. Albert Del Rio will finally debut next week. How come I’m already sick of him?
Mysterio vs. Ziggler is the main event. Kane shows up with a casket part way through. It’s a decent match with Mysterio picking up the win then fighting off Kane. It’s a match that’s decent and given some time but none of WWE’s matches this week were as good as the best of the matches on the TNA special. They managed to push the PPV Sunday but it didn’t feel like they were building to something big. Summerslam is supposed to be something big but I’m not feeling the “wow factor” from the Smackdown side. Still, I will be getting the show and you’ll hear my thoughts afterward. Nexus is the big story and we have to see what happens next.