It’s RAW. We’re in Nashville. I have no idea the status of John Cena. The tag champs (with Tamita) are out to open the show. We’re expecting a title match but, instead, we get yet another Nexus beat down complete with new leader CM Punk. Punk thinks each and every member of Nexus can be the greatest in history. No, not Heath Slater. Punk expects Cena to be here tonight, to give another farewell speech. Initiations all around tonight, Punk as well as all of Nexus. They have new shirts yet again. McGuillicuddy is first and he has to face… being beaten down by Nexus. It’s no fun watching heels reluctantly beat down other heels.
Wassap? R-Truth versus Alberto Del Rio, again, is what’s up. It’s a non-match where R-Truth gets counted out after a Ricardo distraction. The follow-up promo is one of the weakest I’ve seen from Del Rio and Ricardo singing La Cucharacha doesn’t help. The less said about Michael Cole praising himself on behalf of the anonymous GM is a total waste of time. And Miz/Alex Reilly versus Orton/Jerry Lawler is not much better.
Husky Harris gets whipped for his initiation. Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry from a weird tag team to take on Ted Dibiase and Tyson Kidd. I thought Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu were a regular team now. Tyson’s bodyguard isn’t here tonight and we’re reminded Mark Henry beat him last week. Truly odd is that Mark Henry slams Tyson Kidd and picks up a win. When does Mark Henry win two matches in a row?
Big Show is here. Show will face Wade Barrett Friday and plans to win the Royal Rumble. The few healthy remaining members of Nexus interrupt him. It seems Otunga’s initiation is to go after Show. Otunga hits one slap then just waits for the retaliation. And the retaliation makes Show look stronger than he has since Knucklehead.
Do we need another John Morrison versus Sheamus match? Maybe not but when the master of Harcore and the King of the Ring match you can expect a decent showing. There’s nothing wrong with the match but nothing special about it either and Morrison winning again is starting to make Sheamus look bad. Back with nexus Pun orders Gabriel and Slater to beat each other with kendo sticks. They can’t seem to so they consider turning on Punk. Punk cult leaders them into backing off. So they avoid any initiation? That seems off. The other three might want to kick the crap out of them now.
Who is going into the Hall of Fame? Why Shawn Michaels. It’s awfully quick but not undeserved obviously. And here is the man himself. He doesn’t even get to speak before Alberto Del Rio is out to interrupt him. Del Rio is the best now, HBK is old news, blah blah blah Sweet Chin Music. And nothing but dancing and hand slapping from Michaels. Not one word spoken.
Miz is unhappy people are assuming Orton will beat him. But catchphrases are for closers. CM Punk is on top of the TitanTron They are actually teasing that he’s going to jump. But of course, it’s a swerve. Punk is in a freaking harness for crying out loud. SO now only Harris, Macguillicuddy and Otunga are out. What happened to the two rebels? Cena shows up on the same video screen to insult Punk. Cena wants Punk next week. Punk is happy with that. Cena vows he will deal with Punk. Seriously, are Slater and Gabriel out of Nexus? Slater could disappear forever for all I care. But Gabriel was a good wrestler.
How does Jerry Lawler keep winding up in the main event? There’s not much to say about the match. Orton hits RKOs on Miz and Reilly both before the end but lets Lawler do the Flying Fist on Reilly for the win. Miz looks worried as he grabs his title and bails.
Maybe Smackdown was so good this would have been a let down no matter what. But having Nexus shrink even more doesn’t seem like a smart plan. And, honestly, John Cena being out for a while would have actually forced them to improvise which could have led to something great. CM Punk is great, Albert Del Rio is great even being taken down. So there were moments of greatness but, overall, I felt this show was off the mark.