While it seems awfully soon for another three-hour RAW this is King of the Ring, so I am excited. Welcome to the Era of Awesome as the opening recap reminds us how our new champ became just that. Alex Reilly comes out first. He’s in a suit so maybe he came straight from court? Reilly is here to party, and he’s not afraid to party. Wow. Punk went all in and actually said DUI. Reilly hypes up The Miz but we don’t actually see the champ.

Instead its’ King of the Ring match #1. Alberto Del Rio and his black-eyed personal ring announcer to face Daniel Bryan. I’m going to predict Del Rio wins. The rest of the brackets are John Morrison versus Cody Rhodes (I bet on John), Ezekial Jackson versus Drew McIntyre (Big Zeke to go over) and Kofi Kingston versus Sheamus so I have to think Sheamus. I see an Ezekial Jackson versus Alberto Del Rio final here. Good match and the announce team is actually acknowledging that both these are the future of WWE. Bryan picks up a shoulder injury late in the match doing his usual dive to the outside, and that opens the door for the Cross-Armreaker. Bryan taps awfully fast but I guess the injury protects him.

The announce team’s recap of past winners included Brock Lesnar. They even half-acknowledge his UFC success. R-Truth raps his old theme song for a long time before finally entering the ring. R-Truth is here to say he misses Cena and challenge any member of Nexus to a one-on-one match. He gets Michael McGuillicuddy and I would rather see more KotR. But the camera guy goes down so we can’t quite see the attacker (who is clearly John Cena) takes Mr. Not-So-Perfect down. Good, no match.

Now we move on to Cody Rhodes versus John Morrison. Morrsion finishes with the kick then knee to the temple finish he’s been using lately. The kick is called the Flying Chuck according to CM Punk. Morrison can job to Del Rio next. Something went wrong because Morrison’s lower lip is bloody.

One commercial break later and we go straight into the third match of the tournament. So it’s Vince McMahon’s chosen one against the last ECW champion. Jackson dominates but the action spills out of the ring and this is a double countout. Which means neither man advances. So much for my pool. Whoever wins the next match gets a bye to the final. Which also means they only have to squeeze six matches in tonight, not seven.

Orton is not here tonight. He was actually injured but its minor enough he won’t need more time off. But here’s The Miz. Let’s see if this promo is gold. His suit jacket is actually worse than Cole’s. No flashy celebration just images of a cute kid really P.O.ed at The Miz’s win. I love how Miz can be himself and the crowd hates him. Miz plugs the WWE Championship book and starts running down Legends who never won the title. And that get Jerry Lawler’s ire up. Lawler isn’t impressed with The Miz’s win. So Cole comes to his favorite’s defense. In the end Lawler asks for a title shot. Miz isn’t interested but the General Manager is. And… dear lord, this is going to be the main event?! On King of the Ring night the final is not going to be the main event?! E-GM decides to make it a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Jerry Lawler gets his first shot at the title in TLC at this stage in his career? Apparently it’s his birthday.

At least that reduces the announce team to two men as Sheamus takes on Kofi Kingston. In two weeks we have the Slammys, WWE’s self-congratulatory awards show, which may be three hours as well. Punk is making mistakes like calling guys “Wrestlers” instead of “Superstars” but he’s generally entertaining. Far too short a match. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise but Sheamus rolls under the ropes and avoids a pin. That lets the Irishman hit his Brogue Kick for the pin and a bye to the finals. That makes Morrison more likely to advance than Del Rio, which is a pity.

Now we get a tag match with Yoshi Tatsu and Mark Henry facing the tag champs, non-title. Justin Gabriel’s beard is longer but that doesn’t make it suit him any better. This is just a set-up for Cena to show up, holding a ticket. Slater pays too much attention to Cena and Henry slams him for the win. Then Cena races in and puts Slater though the announce table before high-tailing it away from the rest of Nexus. The remaining members of Nexus decide to call him out later.

So we only have one semi-final match to look forward to and it’s up now. John Morrison and Albert Del Rio are starting to look good when Rey Mysterio distracts Del Rio and gives John Morrison the win way too soon. Wade calls Cena out. Cena replies via TitanTron from the parking lot. Wade sends the other three Nexus to get him then about eight angry RAW faces beat them down. Cena ends up AAing Justin Gabriel into a car windshield and vowing to be back next week. I had no idea who Darren Young was at first because he’s cut the wacky hair and replaced with a hair helmet that may actually be worse.

A six-diva match? Really? When we had to skip a KotR match? It’s not much of a match as Tamita gets serenaded by Santino Marello allegedly playing a Tiffany song on an acoustic guitar. Natalya gets the win since she’s the new champ and no one else in the match is married to The Undertaker.

There’s nothing wrong with the finals of King of the Ring. But it’s not as good as the match we just saw between these two at Survivor Series. And yes, the results are different, as Sheamus goes over here. But this entire tournament has been relegated to second or third most important storyline on this show so all my enthusiasm for it faded away well before the final.

Now we have a main event that’s not going to be a real match. Why is Alex Reilly still carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase? Miz cashed in why carry it any more? It doesn’t take a lot of skill to have a roughhouse match and that’s what this is. Lawler actually manages to put both Alex Reilly and The Mix through tables so Michael Cole ends up interfering to stop Lawler from getting the title. Lawler gets to punch out Cole but, when he and Miz end up fighting on top of the ladder, Miz actually swings the belt into the King’s face. Lawler takes a very careful fall from the ladder and Miz retains. No surprise, there.

So Jerry Lawler’s birthday present is more important than King of the Ring? And really, Sheamus? He’s a two-time world champion, what good does adding King of the Ring do for him? And John Cena hasn’t even paid lip service to being fired. You could see he was wearing a microphone pack in at least one scene. Yes Orton was out and yes, on his 61st birthday Jerry Lawler acquitted himself well, but I was disappointed with the show overall.