Announcers: Michael Cole & Josh Mathews & Jerry “The King” Lawler [ REVIEWED BY STEVEN POST ]
IN THE RING Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella w/Tamina + Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty): The segment was intially billed as a WWE tag team championship match. Kozlov & Marella had already made it to the ring with Tamina but before we could find out who their opponents were supposed to be Nexus stormed the ring and attacked Santino & Kozlov. After Santino & Kozlov were ejected from the ring, C.M. Punk grabbed a microphone to inform us that the tag match has been rescheduled to a later date. Punk reiterated that Nexus has been the most dominant force in WWE history but now Nexus is even stronger. Punk took all the credit for Cena having been out of action for the short period that has passed. Punk indicated he hoped that Cena would be delivering a farewell speech later tonight. Punk informed us that he will be making a sacrifice when he puts himself through an initiation to become the new leader of Nexus but also that every member of Nexus would have to pass intiations to remain members of the Nexus. Their ultimate goal, to take over the WWE entirely. Otunga took a microphone long enough to say that they would all be honored to be reinitiated into the “new” Nexus. Punk took the microphone back and informed Michael McGillicutty that he would be the first to be intiated and that McGillicutty would have to suffer one of the beat downs that Nexus is famous for delivering. Each member of Nexus took their turn performing a move onto McGillicutty. The familiar 450 splash performed by Justin Gabriel was followed up by Punk’s GTS. The Nexus members dragged McGillicutty out of the ring and carried him to the backstage area.
SINGLES MATCH Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez defeated R-Truth: The match went back and forth a bit for the short duration of the match. When the action was taken outside the ring Ricardo grabbed a mic and started shouting “What’s up” in quick repitition until R-Truth turned around to punch him. This allowed Del Rio to slide back in the ring and allow R-Truth to be counted out.. Del Rio grabbed a mic to remind us that his destiny is to win the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania. He took a moment to make fun of Memphis and the American taste in music. He mentioned mariachi music as being a better alternative and had Ricardo sing La Cucaracha. He was still sore from bring punched by R-Truth but still sung until commercial.
RINGSIDE SEGMENT Jerry “The King” Lawler & Michael Cole: Prior to the segment starting they showed footage of the Miz attacking Lawler last week. Once that was over Cole & Lawler debated a bit about the Miz but were interrupted by the Anonymous General Manager’s signal that an email arrived. Cole read it to us. The general manager let us know that while Michael Cole has been getting a lot of criticism, the GM supports Cole in every way. He began insulting Cole only to say the GM was just kidding and then began complimenting Cole with a long list of praise. Jerry Lawler interrupted and said he had a message from the WWE Universe, “And I quote, ‘Will you please shut up?’” The King continued to question that no one would say such nice things about Cole then called Cole a coward. Cole warned King that he was not allowed to lay a hand on him. The King slammed the laptop closed but another email came in and Cole read it off to us. The GM said Cole is not a coward, but neither is the King and therefore the King would be in a tag match against the Miz & Alex Riley and his tag partner would be Randy Orton.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel & Husky Harris): Punk reminded us that McGillicutty was in the new Nexus. He told Harris that he was next to be intiated and his task was to receive three lashes of a leather strap by each remaining member of Nexus. Harris accepted the terms. Punk insisted that Harris remove his shirt to be lashed. Harris complied and each person hit Harris in the back with the leather strap. It was obvious that Heath Slater wasn’t enthusiastic about it. When Punk got his turn he hit Harris eight times instead of the three that was promised.
TAG TEAM MATCH Mark Henry & Daniel Bryan w/the Bella twins defeated Tyson Kidd & Ted DiBiase Jr. w/Maryse: They explained that Mark Henry took out Tyson Kidd’s bodyguard, Jackson Andrews, a few weeks ago. The match went back and forth a bit for a short time. Eventually Kidd & DiBiase got the upper hand which lasted for a couple minutes. When Henry was tagged in DiBiase & Kidd attempted to double team him but that backfired and Henry grabbed Kidd and performed the world’s strongest slam to get the win.
IN THE RING The Big Show + Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel): The Big Show came down the ring and let everyone know his intention to knock out Wade Barret on Smackdown! And also to win the Royal Rumble and headline Wrestlemania. He was interupted by the music of Nexus as they walked out to the top of the ramp. Otunga began walking down the ring and through his hesitation and the expression on his face it was obvious that his initiation was to face the Big Show. Otunga slapped the Big Show and then stood awaiting the punishment that the Big Show would deliver. They made it clear that Otunga intentionally made no effort to defend himself. Big Show knocked Otunga out of the ring and continued his beating on him. He drug him back in the ring, choke slammed him and delivered a knockout punch to the head of Otunga. As a sign of respect the remaining Nexus members raised their fists in the air towards Otunga.
SINGLES MATCH John Morrison defeated King Sheamus: Sheamus took control of the match early on. Morrison was able to escape a submission hold and then made a few pin attempts. Morrison only had control for a couple minutes until Sheamus kicked Morrison’s legs out from underneath him. Morrison gained control again long enough to attempt starship pain but Sheamus pushed Morrison over the ropes to the outside when the attempt was made. When commercial was over Morrison was back in ring but Sheamus had him in a submission hold. Sheamus continued to dominate even making the occasional pin attempt for Morrison to kick out of. Morrison got things back in his favor for just a short time knocking Sheamus out of the ring. Morrison dove over the top rope but Sheamus caught him with an impressive kick to Morrison’s chest in mid air. They really sold this injury for a couple minutes until Sheamus attempted a superplex. Morrison grabbaed Sheamus’ head and drove it into the ringpost knocking Sheamus back to the mat then Morrison hit Sheamus with a knee to the face to get the win.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT Nexus (C.M. Punk & Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel): Punk had high praise for the members of Nexus that already passed initiation. The task he had for Heath and Justin was to hit each other with kendo sticks until Punk told them to stop. Neither could do it though. When Punk screamed at them to do it they both looked at each other and then stood as though they were going to hit Punk with the kendo sticks instead. Punk invited them to hit him with the sticks and put his arms out showing that he wasn’t going to defend himself. But both men dropped their sticks and walked off camera.
IN THE RING Jerry “The King” Lawler + Shawn Michaels + Alberto Del Rio: The King went over the general history of the WWE Hall of Fame. They then showed a wonderful video package for the next WWE Hall of Famer, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels surprised everyone when his music came on and he came out onto the ramp. Michaels spent a lot of time interacting with the crowd and dancing around as he made his way to the ring. The crowd started chanting “one more match” but though Michaels had a microphone in hand Alberto Del Rio’s music came on before HBK said a word. Del Rio came out and bascially said that Shawn Michaels is the past and Del Rio is the furture of the WWE – and after Del Rio wins the Royal Rumble and becomes champion, he will be known as Mr. Wrestlemania (sticking his chin out). Michaels hit Del Rio with sweet chin music to knock Del Rio out. Michaels’ music came on and he danced around the ring a bit. Michaels took the scarf that Del Rio was wearing and put it on himself. Never spoke a single word but had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT The Miz & Alex Riley: Riley initially was in a good mood but asked why the Miz was not also in the good mood. The Miz replied it’s because everyone should be talking about the matches he’s had in the past couple weeks but instead they’re talking about Randy Orton and how it’s a given that Orton will defeat him at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. The Miz inidcated that people still don’t show him the respect that he deserves and that he earned. Riley was going to use the catch phrase made famous by the Miz but the Miz insisted that it not be used until the Miz wins their match later tonight against Lawler and Randy Orton.
IN THE RING C.M. Punk + Michael Cole: Cole was standing in the middle of the ring about to introduce John Cena when Punk interupted him. Punk was standing on the top of the tron (the giant screen they show video footage on). Punk indicated that we’re through talking about John Cena and that it will be the C.M. Punk show now. Punk told us that he was proud of the members of Nexus who passed their initiation. Punk indicated it was now his turn to make a sacrifice and he motioned as though his sacrifice was to jump off the tron. He kept referring to his leadership of the Nexus in the past tense. He asked the audience whether he should jump off the tron the audience reaction was a clear “Yes, he should.” As Punk looked as though he were going to do it he asked the audience how gullible are they. He showed us that he’s wearing a harness and that he has two people in the back spotting him. He called the audience mindless sheep. Otunga, Harris and McGillicutty came out and walked down the ramp to the ring. It appears as though Gabriel & Slater are out of the group. They took a moment to recap what the current members went through to remain in Nexus. After the video recap was over Punk was in the ring with Nexus and told us that we would have been very stupid to believe he would leap off the tron. The crowd began to chant “Cena” Punk told them that he eliminated Cena. That’s when Cena appeared on the tron (in the traditional sense, not on top of it). Cena addressed Punk directly. Cena had a lot of insults for Punk finishing with the fact that Punk is wasting all of our time. Cena questioned Punk’s need to initiate everyone since Cena had already put them through one himself. Then challenged Punk to a match next week on RAW. Punk accepted. Cena told us and Punk what a violent person Cena can be when provoked.
TAG TEAM MATCH Randy Orton & Jerry “The King” Lawler defeated The Miz & Alex Riley: Riley and Lawler started the match . Lawler tried to attack the Miz in the corner allowing Riley to attack Lawler from behind. The Miz tagged in and it seemed as though the Miz was going to dominate the match but Lawler reversed things, took the Miz outside the ring and began to assault the Miz by throwing him into the announcer’s table and the ring steps. When Lawler took the action back into ring the Miz took the opportunity to tag in Riley and then Lawler tagged in Orton. Orton dominated the match even when the Miz got tagged in. Orton tagged Lawler in. Lawler repeatedly punched the Miz in the head over and over until the ref interferred allowing the Miz to reverse the situation. When they returned from commerical Lawler was fighting his way out of a headlock Alex Riley had him in. Lawler was so disoriented that he walked the wrong way to make a tag. When Lawler eventtually got himself in the right direction the Miz distracted the referee so that he didn’t see the tag Lawler made. The referee distraction worked both ways though as Orton slipped in to hit the Miz with an RKO. Lawler eventtually tagged Orton in and Orton took control of Alex Riley performing that second rope DDT he likes to do. It looked like Orton was going to perform the RKO onto Riley when he turned to face the Miz who looked like was going to get into the ring and attack Orton. Riley tried to attack Orton from behind but Orton hit him with the RKO instead. Orton tagged in Lawler then walked over to stare at the Miz outside on the ring apron. Lawler jumped from the middle rope to hit Riley with a fist to the head. Lawler covered Riley and the ref made the three count. Orton stood staring the Miz down preventing the Miz from interupting the three count.