RAW is in Calgary. This would be a good time for a Bret Hart appearance. With Bragging Rights right around the corner Teddy Long shows up to open the show. Long threatens to take over the show. This draws the ire of the anonymous GeMail. Long unplugs him and calls out his team. Did Cole just claim the match would be elimination? That’s the exact opposite of what they said on Smackdown. Miz responds and brings out his team as well. The Miz even reveals the seventh man on the team. It’s Ezekial Jackson back from an injury. A brawl breaks out and RAW fails to drive Smackdown from the ring. Show wants Miz tonight and the normally cowardly Miz accepts the challenge.
The tag champs, also Smackdown stars, face the Hart Dynasty. They’re easily the hometown favorites, but once again THD can’t work together and they lose the match. Expect these two to split and Kidd to be the more successful as a solo performer. Backstage, Orton has a heart-to-heart with Cena where he reminds him he’ll happily punt his head. Cena says try it, he’ll tear the leg off. Goldust brings his fiancée to the ring to face Zack Ryder. Wait, is Goldust going to win a match? Yes. Goldust has a finisher called The Final Cut, in case you had forgotten. Dibiase attacks post-match, but Aksana bails with the million dollar belt with Maryse in hot pursuit. That distracts Dibiase and Goldust takes him out. When was the last time Goldust got to hit his finisher twice in a night?
Barrett calls in Cena to tell him he actually should give his all against McGuillicuddy and Harris to provide a proper test to see if they are worthy to join Nexus. And, just when Cena feels good for a change, Barrett makes him fetch water, then throws it in his face. Orton and Cena get to beat up on the rookies while Nexus watches on. They get a clean win, then Barrett orders Cena aside so Nexus can attack Randy Orton.
Why is Vickie Guererro here? So Dolph Ziggler can get some mic time and exposure to the RAW fans? No! So Daniel Bryan can interrupt and challenge him to a champion versus champion match at Bragging Rights! Damn, I actually want to see this show and I can’t afford it! Dolph tries to slap down Bryan and ends up tapping in a LaBell lock. There’s Divas, glitter and dancing that I’m going to try to repress rather than recap.
Natalya, who I like, faces Alicia Fox, who I don’t. It’s another squash for Natalya. It’s just a setup for LayCool to run down Canada and the Harts. There’s a nice fight including a bit where Michelle puts Natalya in a Sharpshooter while Layla takes pictures. Natalya reverses and drives off the champions despite the numbers advantage.
Josh Matthews reveals he knows what the word brazen means while Teddy Long reveals he brought the entire Smackdown roster to the show. Did you know Knucklehead is playing in about six theaters across the US for all of two days? I checked the schedule, most of them are matinees! It looks good, why not try to actually push it a little? There is a huge video promo promoting… WWE. WWE’s relentless self-promotion is something that turns off non-fans. Yes WWE is good at promotion, but they have to donate less of their shows to it. Apparently they are launching a campaign to have their fans stick up for the show. I’d do that, if it sucked less.
So they’ve been plugging Miz versus Big Show all night. Of course we’re not going to get it. With both rosters present we get a tease of a match, then Long calls it off once it spills outside. Instead, we get a Battle Royal! I’m not complaining, Battle Royals are among my favorite types of match, but why the bait and switch? Smackdown versus RAW, minus Nexus, Cena and Orton. The other problem with Battle Royals is they are really hard to recap. Hornswoggle torments Michael Cole through the match which kills the commentary dead. They say it’s the entire roster, but I don’t see Tyson Kidd or the Dudebusters or Hawkins and Archer. No Great Khali even. And Matt Hardy sure ain’t there.
Edge accidentally contributes to the elimination of Jack Swagger and Swagger pulls him through the ropes and locks on his ankle lock. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Ezekial Jackson end up left in the ring against Big Show. In true Andre style Show takes out Bryan then Jackson, but Miz has been hiding on the outside and he and Sheamus go after Show. Except Edge was on the outside too and he Spears Sheamus and Smackdown wins the match. Given that there are two possible sources of dissension in the Smackdown team (Edge/Swagger, Mysterio/Del Rio) and they won here so all signs point to RAW winning this year.
The show ends with Barrett further humiliating Cena. This story would have been so much easier if Nexus had actually tried to integrate Cena. Otunga made one try and that was it. Now Barrett is just abusing Cena. It won’t be long before Cena gets the right to fight back and ends Nexus forever.
NXT is as bad as ever. We get a confrontation between two of my least favorite WWE personalities, Vickie Guererro and Alicia Fox. They argue about who is the better coach, which leads to Maxine taking on Katlyn and winning. The funny thing about this show is most of the challenges seem real. This week they identify WWE torsos and it’s actually just barely entertaining. The second competition is limbo, which is at least good eye candy. Naomi wins in a bit of an odd way giving her 3 wins towards immunity. The main event pits Naomi and her pro Kelly Kelly against the Bella Twins. Smell the workrate!
And look, we know the show is bad, but does Cole need to rag on it constantly and keep expressing wishes it will be canceled? That kind of contradicts the whole “Stand up for WWE” program. And that’s not backfiring at all…