It’s time for a new year of wrestling. With CM Punk aligned with Nexus we have a refreshed storyline. But isn’t it time to start talking about the Royal Rumble? But, for those not in the know, John Cena picked up an injury in a house show match against Wade Barrett. Cole is claiming he won’t be here tonight and WWE has kept a lid on just how serious it really is. Still, The Miz faces John Morrison tonight so this show has potential.
And we are opening with the championship match, which is Falls Count Anywhere. Lawler is also not here, selling the assault by The Miz. The announce team is Cole and Josh Matthews. Why is The Miz coming out first? So he can jump Morrison on the entrance ramp. Usually they won’t ring the bell until the competitors are in the ring but I guess they make exceptions in Falls Count Anywhere matches. Reilly is involved from moment one. Morrison takes an early leap off the giant W on the entrance ramp. Morrison takes Reilly out of the equation early on then battles Miz around ringside. Miz’s big strategy is getting out of the way when Morrison tries a move on table. That may not be enough to win but the Skull Crushing Finale that follows does end it. Good match for TV and Miz looks stronger than ever.
Melina is a full blown heel now as she teams with Alicia Fox and Maryse to face Natalya, Eve and Brie Bella. They only have one Bella so they can pull the switch early on. It has no affect on the outcome as Eve later pins Melina. That doesn’t make Melina look good as the #1 contender. We’ve reached the point where Tamena is accompanying Santino and Koslov to the ring, even when they are facing the Usos. I guess this fires them up as the Usos actually upset the tag champs. But the champs fight off the post-match assault with the help of Santino and Tamena again hitting the Double Cobra.
Tough Enough is coming back. Does this mean NXT will finally die?
CM Punk is out and still focused on Cena. Where’s that going to go? Now we bring out Wade Barrett to see how these two will butt heads. The fight for control of Nexus is on. The actual members of Nexus don’t get to make a decision before E-GM pipes up to name the participants in tonight’s Three-way Steel Cage match to determine who faces The Miz at Royal Rumble. Sheamus is in, Orton is in and either CM Punk or Barrett. Punk will give up the spot. If Barrett wins Punk accepts him as leader of Nexus and will work for him, Barrett loses and he’s out of Nexus. I can’t shake the feeling they are making the mistake they made when they turned Orton face for the second time. Evolution threw him out and suddenly we were supposed to like him. CM Punk usurping Barrett will not make Barrett likable.
Alberto Del Rio is on RAW? I should enjoy, not question. Alberto’s promos are well delivered but they are starting to all sound the same. R-Truth is the designated interrupter tonight. R-Truth wants to send Del Rio back to Smackdown but he ends up tapping out to the Cross Armbreaker. Truth was more flashy in TNA, probably due to safety issues, so I have never been that excited by him in WWE. At least this was designed to promote the cross-branded Royal Rumble.
CM Punk wishes Barrett luck. Randy Orton feels he was too nice last year. Cole announces that Cena may be back next week. I have no idea what that means in Vince’s crazy wacked out and delusional world. The Triple Threat is being fought under “chicken rules” where the only way to win is to escape the cage. The booking here is too basic. Too much of the match revolves around two guys getting preoccupied with each other, or go down, and the third trying to escape. Then one or both of the other two hurry and stop him.
Just when Barrett is about to escape the cage CM Punk shows up and climbs the cage to help him. But instead of actually helping, Punk rips off Barrett’s Nexus armband and kicks him in the face, knocking him from the top of the cage. Orton RKOs Sheamus and just walks out the door. You’d think more people would use the door in cage matches. So the only face in the match becomes #1 contender to the heel champion. That’s pretty predictable. And am I supposed to feel sorry for Wade Barrett? I don’t. Everything hinges on the status of Cena. If he’s fine then things progress as usual. If he’s hurt… well we’ll call it a hot mess and leave it at that.