WWE Monday Night RAW
January 17, 2011 – Little Rock, Arkansas
Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
[ REVIEWED BY STEVEN POST ]
VIDEO TRIBUTE: Before the show began they played a short tribute to Martin Luthor King.
IN THE RING
John Cena + The Miz w/ Alex Riley + Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty) + Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella: There was a large reaction when John Cena’s music came on and he came down to the ring. While Cena was in the ring footage of the New Nexus being formed three weeks ago was played to refresh our memories. Cena reminded us that tonight is the first night he has been in a WWE ring this year. Cena’s New Years resolutions are as follows; 1. Take care of C.M. Punk. 2. Find a copy of Reggie’s Prayer for later in the show. 3. Win the Royal Rumble. and 4. Go on to Wrestlemania to become the new WWE Champion. Cena invited C.M. Punk to the ring but instead it was the WWE Champion, the Miz. The Miz was openly skeptical that Cena would become the new WWE Champion. The Miz reported that the Royal Rumble will have 40 participants this year instead of the standard 30 and therefore the odds are highly against Cena. Cena impersonated Rocky at the end of the Rocky IV movie. But then reminded us that the Miz has to cheat to retain his championship every time he defends it. Cena also recapped what went down last week in the tag match the Miz was in and how Riley was pinned by Jerry Lawler. The Miz bragged a bit about how he has proven that he can keep up with all of the “so called” technicians in WWE history. Miz was going to use his famous catch phrase but mid way through said he would finish that sentence when he destroys Randy Orton later. Cena said that a match between Orton and Cena is a Wrestlemania worthy match but that the Miz will not make it through Royal Rumble and will not be at Wrestlemania. That’s when C.M. Punk’s music came on and he came out followed by the remaining members of Nexus. They stood at the top of the ramp while Punk spoke. He adivised the Miz that the Miz had nothing to explain nor anything to prove to the, “Jerk known as John Cena” as the Miz is the WWE Champion and Cena is not. Punk reiterated the change to the Royal Rumble and that all the members of Nexus will be working together to make sure Punk wins it, changing Cena’s odds of winning from slim to zero. The other members of Nexus walked down to the ring and began attacking John Cena. They didn’t get far when Kozlov & Santino ran down to the ring to even the odds. Punk stood at the top of the ramp fuming as the rest of Nexus joined him. Then Punk asked Cena to take on new odds and he and Nexus began walking back down the ring, the action halted when we were notified of a new email from the RAW general manager. Michael Cole read it off to us. Cena will face Punk in a one on one match with the remaining Nexus members barred from ringside. And if any members of Nexus interfere in the upcoming match they will be barred from the Royal Rumble match.
WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella w/Tamina defeated The Uso Brothers (Jimmy & Jey) to retain the WWE Tag Team titles: The Uso brothers took control early on over Marella, preventing him from tagging Kozlov in. When Marella was finally tagged in Kozlov dominated both of the Usos with a few exceptions. When Santino was tagged back in he was able to use “the cobra” to get the win.
Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty): Nexus members were discussing taking some sort of immediate action when Punk walked in to silence them all. Punk uttered one word “Faith,” with a smile on his face.
Daniel Bryan w/the Bella twins + John Morrison: Morrison was walking backstage when he came upon Daniel Bryan. The Bella twins swooped in from off camera and kissed Bryan on his cheeks and the three of them walked off. Morrison was left shaking his head at the trio.
NON (WWE UNITED STATES) TITLE MATCH
John Morrison defeated WWE United States champion Daniel Bryan w/The Bella Twins: The first minute or so of the match focused on how evenly matched the two men are. After commercial Morrison had Bryan in submission hold which he escaped within a moment. Morrison attempted starship pain and missed. Later both men attempted crossbody’s at the same time knocking each other down. Both men began hitting each other with fists and kicks. They had a long series of near falls, Bryan attempted the LeBell Lock but didn’t manage to get it locked in. Once Morrison hit Bryan with a knee to the face Morrison was able to get the pin. They both shook hands outside the ring when Sheamus’ music came on and he came walking down the ramp with microphone in hand. Sheamus credited himself with Morrison’s success by forcing Morrison to take his game to another level. Sheamus bragged about how no one is in Sheamus’ league and made the claim that he would win the Royal Rumble and personally eliminate both Morrison and Bryan.
The Bella twins: The twins were walking down a hallway talking to each other about how handsome John Morrison is. But both girls want to be Daniel Bryan’s “first.” They decided to make it a contest between them about which would be the one to accomplish this.
Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero: Vickie cut a short promo predicting that Dolph Ziggler would win his match against Edge at the Royal Rumble. She then introduced Dolph who walked to the ring to start his match with Vickie. He took a moment to show his affection for Vickie by kissing her. Randy Orton was then introduced. This is first time either has faced each other in a one on one match according to Michael Cole. For the most part Randy Orton dominated Ziggler for quite some time until Ziggler was able to perform a jawbreaker to escape a headlock. For a few minutes Ziggler was in control focusing on the left leg of Randy Orton. Orton began to come back but it only lasted for a moment when Ziggler hit Orton with a beautiful standing drop kick. Ziggler went back to wearing out Orton’s leg. Ziggler missed when he attempted a big splash on Orton in the corner and from there the match went back and forth a bit. Ziggler locked in his sleeper hold but Orton was able to break it by getting to the ropes. Ziggler attempted his zig-zag move but Orton grabbed the top robe to counter. When Ziggler tried it again Orton caught him in the RKO to get the win. Orton got no time to celebrate however as both the Miz and Alex Riley stormed the ring and began attacking Orton. They took him outisde the ring and threw him into the ring steps. The crowd began chanting “Jerry.” When it became clear the Miz was going to use the announcers table as a weapon against Orton Jerry Lawler stood up to intervene. He was immediately accosted by Alex Riley though Jerry punched Riley in the face and then the Miz threw Lawler over the barricade. Orton tried to attack the Miz but the Miz stopped that quickly. The Miz drove Orton back first into a ring post. While Alex Riley held Orton the Miz slowly kicked Orton the ribs several times. They then both threw Orton back first into another barricade that just protected the ring announcers and time keeper. The Miz grabbed a microphone and leaned into Orton’s face to whisper, “I’m the Miz and I’m awesome.”
Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty): All men were sitting Punk told them all how important faith is and what it takes to have faith. At the end they all bowed their heads in what appeared to be prayer.
NON (WWE DIVAS) TITLE MATCH
WWE Diva’s champion Natalya Neidhart defeated Maryse Ouellet: Melina and Eve Torres had joined Michael Cole to help call the match. Melina didn’t have much to say during the match. Eve and Cole’s discussion seemed more to be the focus than the match. Natalya put Maryse in the sharpshooter to get the win by submission. Michael Cole thanked Eve for being there and he invited her to stick around. Maryse started yelling at Michael Cole, about what I couldn’t understand, Eve shoved her but then walked away while Maryse kept yelling at Cole until Ted DiBiase ran down to try to calm her down. She kept yelling at him that he’s a loser, said he lost his match to his own rookie on NXT and could never win the Royal Rumble. DiBiase grabbed a mic to say that he could win the Royal Rumble and announced an open “over the top rope” challenge.
OVER THE TOP ROPE CHALLENGE
Mark Henry defeated Ted DiBiase Jr.: DiBiase was still in the ring when the commercial was over still bragging that no one had accepted his challenge when Mark Henry’s music came on. I doubt the match lasted a minute when Henry threw DiBiase over the top rope to win the match. For some reason Tyson Kidd, William Regal, and Yoshi Tatsu all ran in the ring to attack Mark Henry. Henry threw Tatsu over the top rope pretty quickly and then Regal and Tyson teamed up on Henry. And then more wrestlers joined in; Zack Ryder + Primo + R-Truth + David Hart Smith. I couldn’t figure out any rhyme or reason as to who may have been there together as it became “every man for himself” in the ring. All acting as though they really were in the Royal Rumble match. Trying to knock each other over the top rope. As Mark Henry was about to “eliminate” Zack Ryder, Sheamus ran in and rammed his shoulder into the back of Henry’s knee. Sheamus continued to eliminate other people in the ring. But in the end Henry “eliminated” Sheamus. Just as Henry began celebrating Alberto Del Rio’s music came on and he came driving into the arena. He already had a microphone with him in the car. He told us again that it is his destiny to win the Royal Rumble and to appear in the main event in WrestleMania.
Derrick Bateman: Short and sweet. Bateman was acting as a commerical spokesman for a new cologne called World’s Strongest Man derived from the actual sweat glands of Mark Henry. Henry off camera was reading out some ridiculous side effects of the cologne while Bateman sniffed his own armpit, shoe and what looked like a handkerchief. Then he looked back at the camera and asked, “Are you strong enough?”
C.M. Punk defeated John Cena by DQ: When the bell rang the two men took a moment to stare each other down. They began punching each other and Cena took an early lead. When Punk was able to get control he kept it for several minutes. When Cena reversed things back he got to perform his five knuckle shuffle but Punk stopped the Attitude Adjustment. When tried to perform his GTS, Cena reversed and put him in the STF. Punk was able to get to the bottom rope to break the hold though. The match went back and forth for several minutes. Punk locked on the anaconda vice in the center of the ring but Cena managed to power his way to the bottom rope to break the hold. Cena rolled out of the ring and while standing on the apron Punk kicked Cena to the floor. Punk dove over the top rope onto Cena but Cena caught him in mid air and dtove Punk into a ring post. It went back and forth a bit more. Just after Cena attempted a pin and Punk kicked out some guy (who one could argue looks and awful lot like Dave Batista, though wasn’t Dave Batista) ran out of the audience and jumped onto the ring apron. Someone from security tried to stop him but the Batista look alike just kicked him away. This distraction allowed Punk to kick Cena from behind. The Batista look alike got in the ring and Punk smiled, stood up, and held his arms out and allowed this guy to attack him with a boot to the face. The referee disqualified Cena. The Batista look alike picked up Cena and performed a kind of Rock Bottom move onto him. Nexus ran down the ring in a useless effort to protect C.M. Punk from the Batista look alike while Punk started yelling at them to stop. Punk needed Nexus to help him stand up. Punk and the Batista look alike stared each other down until the Batista look alike got down on one knee and Punk pulled a Nexus arm band out of his knee pad. The look alike extended his arm and allowed Punk to put the arm band on him. Nexus stood in the ring faced the camera and raised their fists in the air to end the show. This reminded me a lot of the way the Nation of Domination would raise their fists in the air in the same way. There’s a new member to Nexus though his official name isn’t known but he is the current FCW champion Mason Ryan..