The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 12/27/10 (Punk Leads Nexus)



Before I get started this week I just want to say I hope everybody has a Happy New Year. It’s been a roller coaster year for me in a lot of ways, but that’s life. I wrote about every single Raw in 2010 except the one when Miz cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase to win the title because I was on vacation. Let’s see if they can end this year on a high note after last week’s quality show. Also I should note that Monday Night Football ended for the season, which means I should be doing some of these Raw Deal’s live on Mondays and they will generally get posted earlier on Tuesday. At least until September. You are welcome.

Live from Albany, New York this is the Raw Deal…

We start the show with John Cena coming out while Michael Cole joygasms even though he usually likes the bad guys. Because consistency would be stupid! I know it’s a directive from Vince and I mention it a lot, but I think it’s very silly. Cena came out all happy because he “ended” Nexus and then he talked about CM Punk, joking that he’s sorry he spilled his diet soda that set him back 75 cents or $1.25 in a machine. Then they showed a clip of Smackdown when Punk attacked Cena as he was about to give Vickie the Attitude Adjustment. Why oh why? Maybe because he was physically assaulting a woman? But that’s okay I guess. Good “Airing of Grievances” line by Cena, though. That’s a Festivus shoutout. I approve. Anyway, Punk came out on the stage to address him.

I thought CM Punk was his usual awesome self here in addressing Cena on all of his bullshit. I’m sure I wasn’t the only “smart fan” that was nodding his head during a lot of it. He even referenced Batista, talking about how Cena forced him out of the company and Cena fired back saying Batista quit on his own. The rest of Punk’s speech was really well done. And that’s a credit to the writing here (yes I’m praising the writing!) because they are well aware of the Cena backlash, so everything Punk was saying was a good way to address that. And when he said “This isn’t the John Cena show, this is the CM Punk show” I marked out a little bit. Cena wanted a match. Punk said no. Only on his terms. He promised Cena a night he’ll never forget (how romantic!) and wished us all a happy new year. That’s kind.

This was a 13 minute open. It was a bit long, but Punk & Cena are amongst the best talkers in the business, so they did a good job. I agreed with pretty much every one of Punk’s points, as I’m sure a lot did. He basically called Cena out for all his wrongdoings. It worked for me.

By the way, the Batista reference here and at the Slammys too is a likely indicator that he might be back before WrestleMania. I’d guess that it happens. I dunno for sure, though.

Santino & Tamina d. Dibiase & Maryse (DUD)
It was a one minute comedy match that Santino won with a rollup. Then the face team won with the double Cobra. Yawn. Waste of time. Dibiase is probably the most poorly booked performer in WWE.

Backstage, Miz & Riley were talking when John Morrison interrupted. He made fun of Riley’s dumbness. Is that a good word? I dunno. I like it. It ended up leading to a match. If Morrison wins then he gets to pick the time and the stipulation of his match against Miz. If Riley wins then Morrison loses his #1 contender spot. Riley never wins, but we’re supposed to act like he’s some good talent so we’ll watch in shock and amazement, I guess.

John Morrison d. Alex Riley (*)
This was a little over 4 minutes in length. Miz interfered, the ref told him to leave the ringside area and Morrison won with his knee to the head. Then Morrison went over to Lawler, spoke into his headset and said his title match would be next week in a Falls Count Anywhere match on Raw. In other words, he’s not getting the title shot at the Rumble. Why not let him announce it on the microphone?

Backstage, Miz yelled at Riley. He should have said “stop being a Dibiase and try to win for a change.” But no, he didn’t.

Backstage, CM Punk told a cameraman he needs to be there to capture the moment when he calls out Cena. I guess Punk hates the camera guys that are out by the ring all night. Those jerks!

More backstage as Daniel Bryan was chilling with the Bellas who mentioned how alone they were on Christmas. Sure they were. My Canadian boy Tyson Kidd walks in with his bodyguard Jackson Andrews, who must be a big fan of former president Andrew Jackson. Tyson said he’d be US Champ in 2011 and that he should watch his match against Mark Henry. Then he said Jackson is the most intimidating bodyguard in WWE history. What about Deacon Batista, Luther Reigns and the Swagger Soaring Eagle? He was a mascot/bodyguard really.

By the way, a Brian vs. Kidd feud? Yes please. Two of the best workers in the company.

Mark Henry d. Tyson Kidd (1/2*)
Why did Henry win in two minutes? I have no idea. He won clean. Post match, Andrews proved to be terrible by getting beat up and taking the World’s Strongest Slam too. I’d imagine there’s a rematch next week with Kidd winning. It’s the only explanation. Or is it?

Did you see the look in Mark Henry’s eyes? He’s focused. It’s Royal Rumble season. It’s the time when he emerges from the pack as a THREAT TO WIN. For 15 years now, give or take a few when he wasn’t there or injured. But you know that once the calendar hits January, the Precious One turns it up a notch and walks into the annual January event as the guy everybody targets. Sure, he hasn’t won it yet. But he will. And somebody’s gonna get their ass kicked. Or butt. It’s PG after all.

(The preceding message has been paid for by the “Mark Henry: THREAT TO WIN” committee. They will be here every week on the road to the Royal Rumble. They love you because you love Mark.)

Smackdown on Friday is Edge & Rey vs. Del Rio & Kane. Did you know in 2002 Edge & Rey teamed up to have the match of the year against Benoit & Angle at No Mercy? Watch it. It’s five stars. You’re welcome.

The Miz came out to generate some massive heel heat and he did a fabulous job here. He was way over the top saying he’s the best fighter, brawler and that nobody compares to him. The crowd was going nuts with the Steve Austin-like “WHAT?” chants, so he called them a bunch of ducks as he mimicked them. See, that was pretty funny. He said he was a scientific master and a technical wizard too. He told us he was going to destroy Lawler. It was an entertaining promo. Well done by Miz.

Jerry Lawler d. The Miz via countout (*1/4)
This was slow and boring. Lawler worked with a t-shirt on, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It did pick up a bit at the end, but for 9 minutes it wasn’t very thrilling. The TLC match was a lot better because of the chase of the title. The finish came when Alex Riley tried to interfere, the ref saw it and Morrison hit Miz without the ref seeing. I guess it plays up the “Riley is a dumb jock” gimmick. Lawler ended up winning by countout as the crowd went nuts.

My guess is Miz beats Morrison next week and then they do Miz vs. Lawler at the Rumble since Lawler has two victories over Miz now (the tag last week and the countout win here). I hope I’m wrong. They should have Miz vs. Morrison on PPV. They’ve earned it.

Backstage, CM Punk talked to Sheamus. He told Sheamus he wasn’t stepping up to Cena just for him, but for guys like Sheamus that have had to deal with him too. Sheamus seemed appreciative.

Melina & Alicia Fox d. Eve & Gail Kim (*)
My Canadian girl Natalya was at the commentary table. Very disappointed she didn’t say “buster” though. Maybe it offended somebody. You never know. Alicia has red hair now. Why? Hey, Gail got to wrestle for about 20 seconds! Amazing. Melina won with her scream and leg over the boobs finisher. Hell if I know what it’s called. I enjoy Melina a lot more as a heel. Post match, Natalya (rocking a lovely black dress) walks up to Melina to get up in her business. Or bidness! Melina says sorry, they shake, she throws a punch, but Natalya blocks it and decks her with a right. It’s so refreshing to see a divas feud without Michelle McCool. I don’t hate her. I just think she was over pushed. These two could have a good match if they get the time.

Backstage, CM Punk talked to the trainers about what was going to happen to Cena. They looked on without saying a word. It’s like me when the doctor tells me to drink less vodka. What?

Daniel Bryan d. Zack Ryder (1/2*)
I guess they’re tired of Bryan having matches of the night, so they give him only a minute. Ryder tapped. Get Bryan a feud, please. I would have marked out if Tyson attacked him here.

The GM buzzed in. Cole read a note saying that 2011 will be the best year of Raw ever. I really doubt that. I think 2000 and 1997 called to dispute that. As he was reading, Miz showed up to attack Lawler. He beat him up and ended it by giving him the Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. That’s enough for a Star of the Show honor for Miz.

Josh Mathews joined Cole at the announce table while they recapped the attack.

Randy Orton d. Sheamus (***1/4)
Sheamus’ king outfit is terrible. Just saying. They had a 15 minute match that was on par with what they did earlier in the year. Maybe even better than some of those matches. The finish was interesting with Sheamus doing the slingshot over the top rope only for Orton to counter it with the RKO. They timed it well, so it worked. We’re not really sure if Orton gets another title shot at Miz (I assume not) or where his future lies. He’ll likely be in the Rumble, be a threat to win and go from there. I’m not really sure what feud there is for him because he’s already feuded with Sheamus & Miz a lot this year. Punk’s tied up with Cena. Who else is there for him? Oh right, Raw’s other top heel: Michael Cole. Money.

What’s the point of King of the Ring? Since he won that Sheamus lost to Morrison in a ladder match and now clean to Orton. And we’re supposed to take him seriously when HHH comes back? I hate this company sometimes because when a guy wins something he should have momentum. Instead they take it away. And nobody ever gets over when you do that.

Hey, there’s a new Bobby Heenan DVD. That’s cool. Best non-wrestler in WWE history. He was so good in his role as “broadcast journalist” as well as manager.

Next week: Miz vs. Morrison for the WWE Title in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

It was main event promo time as John Cena came out asking for CM Punk. Instead, “We Are One” started playing and out came the Nexus boys comprised of David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Wendy Slater, Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris. And there’s Kaval! Oh wait he’s fired because he knows how to actually wrestle. That’s not a necessity in today’s WWE. I guess if he was on NXT Season 1 he’d still be employed and in a main angle. Wrong show to be on, huh?

Otunga spoke to Cena saying Nexus was under new leadership. So you mean Cena didn’t really “take out” Nexus like they mentioned repeatedly last week? What a shocker. That’s why it bugged me last week because you knew they would be back a week later. He wants a truce. Cena said Otunga’s a backstabber and doesn’t believe him. He said you can either leave or fight. Otunga left. He got up the ramp and they ran back to the ring to beat up Cena 5 on 1. It was a familiar sight as Cena was left laying at the hands of Nexus with each guy hitting their finishing moves. Nobody helped Cena, of course. Then CM Punk’s music hit. He walked past the Nexus guys, hopped into the ring and gave Cena the Go To Sleep. I marked out just a little right there. Punk went to attack him with the chair. Instead, he sat on it. He looked down at a conveniently placed Nexus arm band that was on the ground. He picked it up, slid it on his arm and raised his fist up in the air. All the Nexus guys had their fists up too…except Justin Gabriel. Ha, that was funny. He missed his cue. Then when we saw him again he did it.

The show ended with the boys from Nexus saluting Punk, who we presume is their new leader. I’m not sure if he’ll preach the Straight Edge life anymore, but as a leader he’s great in the role.

Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – I love seeing him in a top angle again. He will be a top 3 star all through 2011 I’m sure.
2. The Miz – Really great on the microphone and worked hard against Lawler.
3. Sheamus – Have to give him props. His workrate has improved a lot in 2010. I enjoy his matches.

7 out of 10
Last week: 8

I think it was a notch below last week, but still above the average and a show that I enjoyed.

I’m fine with Punk leading Nexus because the group needs star power. The problem is this should have been done with an established talent back in August. Somebody turns on WWE at Summerslam, they become the leader of the group and then they terrorize the company. It’s four months later. It can still work, but it’s not as appealing as it could have been because we’ve already seen Cena beat the Nexus guys so much. With that said, Punk is arguably the most talented performer in WWE right now (I think he is in terms of overall talent) and it will make me care about a Cena feud more than I have in a long time.

I think Morrison vs. Miz should be a very good match next week. However, I’d be disappointed if Morrison didn’t get the title shot at the Rumble. I assume it’s going to Lawler.

As for Wade Barrett, the rumor is he might end up on Smackdown. They need heels. I’m not sure, though.


Keep checking out for exclusive articles that are only posted on my site, plus the podcast posted every Wednesday. We have recaps of Raw, Smackdown, NXT and TNA Impact, so give us a look.

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year!

John Canton – [email protected]
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